Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bats are a possible source of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa

30.12.2014

The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease occurring in West Africa may have originated from contact between humans and virus-infected bats, suggests a study led by researchers from the Robert Koch-Institute in Berlin, Germany. The report, published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, identifies insectivorous free-tailed bats as plausible reservoirs and expands the range of possible Ebola virus sources to this type of bats. The results also reveal that larger wildlife are not the source of infection.

Ebola virus disease epidemics are of zoonotic origin, transmitted to human populations either through contact with larger wildlife or by direct contact with bats. “We monitored the large mammal populations close to the index village Meliandou in south-eastern Guinea and found no evidence for a concurrent outbreak,” says Fabian H. Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute, who led the study. The second infection route appears more plausible as direct contact with bats is usual in the affected region.

Fruit bats are the commonly suspected Ebola virus reservoir as previous outbreaks in Africa show. Interviews with Meliandou locals revealed that exposure to fruit bats through hunting and consumption of meat in this area is common. Yet fruit bats seem an unlikely source of infection, as a food-borne transmission would have affected adults before or concurrently with the two-year-old boy – the index case. This suggests a source of infection unrelated to food.

Another opportunity for infection was a large colony of free-tailed insectivorous bats housed in a hollow tree nearby the home of the index case. Villagers reported that children often used to play in and around the tree. This may have resulted in a massive exposure to bats.

The multidisciplinary team of researchers led a four-week field mission in Guinea in April 2014 to examine human exposure to bats, to survey local wildlife and to capture and sample bats in Meliandou and in neighbouring forests. The index village is not located in the forest but rather in an area heavily modified by humans representing “modern” African settings.

The virus that spread from Meliandou into other areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal, represents the largest ever-recorded Ebola outbreak killing 7,800 people (as of 17 December 2014).

Investigating the Zoonotic Origin of the West African Ebola Epidemic

Almudena Marí Saéz, Sabrina Weiss, Kathrin Nowak, Vincent Lapeyre, Fee Zimmermann, Ariane Düx, Hjalmar S. Kühl, Moussa Kaba, Sebastien Regnaut, Kevin Merkel, Andreas Sachse, Ulla Thiesen, Lili Villányi, Christophe Boesch, Piotr W. Dabrowski, Aleksandar Radonić, Andreas Nitsche, Siv Aina J. Leendertz, Stefan Petterson, Stephan Becker, Verena Krähling, Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann, Chantal Akoua-Koffi, Natalie Weber, Lars Schaade, Jakob Fahr, Matthias Borchert, Jan F. Gogarten, Sébastien Calvignac-Spencer, Fabian H. Leendertz

Read the paper: http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/emmm.201404792

doi: 10.15252/emmm.201404792

Further information on EMBO Molecular Medicine is available at www.embomolmed.embopress.org

Media Contacts
Yvonne Kaul
Communications Officer
yvonne.kaul@embo.org

Céline Carret
Editor, EMBO Molecular Medicine
Tel: +49 6221 8891 411
celine.carret@embo.org

About EMBO
EMBO is an organization of more than 1700 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.

EMBO helps young scientists to advance their research, promote their international reputations and ensure their mobility. Courses, workshops, conferences and scientific journals disseminate the latest research and offer training in techniques to maintain high standards of excellence in research practice. EMBO helps to shape science and research policy by seeking input and feedback from our community and by following closely the trends in science in Europe. 
For more information: www.embo.org

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.embo.org/news/research-news/research-news-2014/bats-possible-source-o...

Yvonne Kaul | EMBO

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>