Appearing in the open-access scientific journal PLoS ONE, the study is the first in which RT-PCR and serological findings have both affirmed Marburg infection in a specific bat species. The natural reservoir for Marburg virus has been the subject of much speculation and scientific investigation. In demonstrating evidence of infection in this common species of fruit bat, the paper provides new insight into a deadly disease that has long baffled epidemiologists, ecologists and virologists, and in which the public has shown a sustained interest.
The work was done in collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, and the Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville (CIRMF) and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Franceville, Gabon.
“Identifying Marburg infection in the African fruit bats brings us one step closer to understanding this deadly disease,” says Dr. Eric Leroy of CIRMF, corresponding author on the paper.
Marburg virus and the related Ebola virus have caused large outbreaks with high case fatalities (80-90%) in humans and great apes. No vaccine or drug therapy is available presently. The paper reports detection of viral RNA from four out of 283 R. aegyptiacus bats in a collection of over 1100 bats tested, representing 10 species. Interestingly, 29 of 242 R. aegyptiacus bats also tested serologically positive for Marburg virus as evidenced by the presence of IgG antibodies in bat sera. Neither Marburg virus RNA nor specific antibody were detected in any of the other species of bats tested. All bats were trapped near caves in 2005 and 2006 in Gabon and the Republic of Congo. Genetic sequences obtained from the infected bats in this study are unique compared to other known Marburg virus sequences. R. aegyptiacus is widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa.
“From a public health perspective, this discovery offers us new insight into the transmission of Marburg virus and potentially other filoviruses,” says Dr. Jonathan Towner, senior microbiologist at the CDC and lead author on the publication. The publication coincides with recent reports of Marburg infection among Ugandan miners.
Andrew Hyde | alfa
Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences