IRD researchers have succeeded in the first identification of bats as a potential natural reservoir of Ebola virus. Several epidemics of haemorrhagic fever have raged in the Republic of Congo and Gabon since 2001, hitting both humans and primates simultaneously. The virus transmission route from great apes to humans was already known, yet neither the natural reservoir nor the means of prior viral transmission to these primates had hitherto been identified.
Today scientists from the IRD and the CIRMF (1) are publishing in the journal Nature a study on small vertebrates captured near carcasses of infected primates. The research team detected specific Ebola virus antibodies in the serum of three species of tropical fruit bats. And revealed the presence of viral genome fragments in the liver and spleen of these vertebrates. Observations indicated that the large primates become contaminated directly by contact with these bats. These results are an essential element for understanding Ebola virus’s cycle in its natural environment and could prove decisive for the prevention of human Ebola virus epidemics.
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.
Sophie Nunziati | alfa
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy