Ebola virus (of the Filoviridae family) was first identified in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (ex- Zaire). It has been the source of several lethal epidemics in central Africa. Four subtypes exist, three of which rage on the African continent. The zaire subtype, the most dangerous for humans, was responsible for eight epidemics which have hit Gabon and the Republic of Congo since 1995. Infection by this subtype in humans is expressed by a violent haemorrhagic fever which in 80 % of cases kills the victim in a few days. There has been a succession of 14 epidemics of Ebola in Africa since 1976. Ten of which were caused by the zaire sub-type, generating 1850 cases resulting in 1300 deaths.
Viral transmission to humans occurs by way of direct contact with infected primate carcasses (1). However, although they are the source of human infection, these animals are not the reservoir for the virus. The large primates develop the disease and die only days after themselves being infected, following contamination events provoked by contact with the reservoir. Numerous investigations, conducted since 1976 and aiming to identify this reservoir, have been unsuccessful. Eric Leroy of the IRD in Gabon and his co-workers from the CIRMF have now identified some tropical bat species as a potential Ebola virus reservoir, the fruit of studies they undertook between 2001 and 2003 in the border region between Gabon and the Republic of Congo. They publish their findings today.
The human epidemics that have flared up since 2001 were linked to multiple viral outbreaks in several animal species including chimpanzees, gorillas and duiker. During these epidemic episodes, the researchers captured about 1000 small vertebrates in good health (rodents, shrews, bats, birds and squirrels) from the vicinity of carcasses of infected primates. They performed a range of analyses: a search for specific Ebola virus antibodies in the serum, and for viral genome in certain organs; isolation of the virus on sensitive cell lines; immunohistochemistry of organ sections.
Beatrice LE BRUN | alfa
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27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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