Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea

Date:
April 22, 2014
Source:
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)
Summary:
In a new article, researchers have published their initial findings on the characteristics of the Ebola virus discovered in Guinea. Initial virological investigations enabled them to identify Zaire ebolavirus as the pathogen responsible for this epidemic.

Laboratory P4 Jean Mérieux/Inserm.
Credit: © Inserm/Guénet François

In an article which appeared in The New England journal of Medicine on 16 April, researchers from Inserm (Jean Mérieux-Inserm BSL-4 Laboratory, Lyon) and the Institut Pasteur have published their initial findings on the characteristics of the Ebola virus discovered in Guinea. Initial virological investigations enabled them to identify Zaire ebolavirus as the pathogen responsible for this epidemic. Performed in less than a month, sequencing of the complete genome and subsequent phylogenetic analysis show that the virus present in Guinea forms a clade (variant) that is distinct from strains previously identified in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Gabon. Epidemiological investigations also linked the laboratory confirmed cases with the initial deaths recorded during the December 2013 outbreak.

Ebola virus is a lethal, highly contagious virus for which there is presently no treatment. The symptoms are somewhat non-specific, and include fever, severe diarrhea and vomiting. Between 30 and 90% of those infected with this organism die as a result.

On 2 April 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO), in a communiqué published by the UN, reported that it had recorded 5 new cases of Ebola fever in Guinea. Since January, the total number of suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola fever in the present outbreak in Guinea is 127, with 83 deaths, according to WHO, which states that 35 cases were confirmed by laboratory testing.

The initial samples were analysed in Lyon in the Jean Mérieux-Inserm BSL-4 Laboratory directed by Hervé Raoul, Inserm Research Director, by the French National Reference Centre for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (attached to the Biology of Viral Emerging Infections Unit at the Institut Pasteur, directed by Sylvain Baize). A positive diagnosis was made.

A mobile BSL-4 laboratory was deployed in Guinea to provide assistance with diagnosis in the field. This mobile laboratory was developed as part of a European project, "EMP4," coordinated by German researchers, and in which the Jean Mérieux-Inserm BSL-4 Laboratory is the French partner.

The researchers were able to analyse blood samples from 20 patients. Various tests were conducted by the scientists in order to establish a specific identity card for the virus.

Viral RNA was extracted from the blood samples, and then amplified and sequenced. These sequences were finally compared to 48 already known complete Ebola virus genomes. According to results, the analysis showed 97% identity with strains identified in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976 and 2007, and in Gabon in 1994 and 1996.

"These results demonstrate that we are facing the emergence of a new "form" of this virus in Guinea," explains Hervé Raoul, Director of the BSL-4 Laboratory. This form is common to cases discovered since the month of December.

It would appear that the epidemic originated from a single introduction from animal to human.

Apart from the present epidemic, these results show that the endemic area for Ebola virus is greater than previously known, and that as a consequence, West Africa should henceforth be considered an area of risk for Ebola virus. Measures aimed at preventing transmission from wild fauna to humans and quickly identifying such events if there is a recurrence must be put in place in Guinea, as well as in neighbouring countries.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sylvain Baize, Delphine Pannetier, Lisa Oestereich, Toni Rieger, Lamine Koivogui, N'Faly Magassouba, Barrè Soropogui, Mamadou Saliou Sow, Sakoba Keïta, Hilde De Clerck, Amanda Tiffany, Gemma Dominguez, Mathieu Loua, Alexis Traoré, Moussa Kolié, Emmanuel Roland Malano, Emmanuel Heleze, Anne Bocquin, Stephane Mély, Hervé Raoul, Valérie Caro, Dániel Cadar, Martin Gabriel, Meike Pahlmann, Dennis Tappe, Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, Benido Impouma, Abdoul Karim Diallo, Pierre Formenty, Michel Van Herp, Stephan Günther. Emergence of Zaire Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea — Preliminary Report. New England Journal of Medicine, 2014; 140416140039002 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1404505

Cite This Page:

INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "Researchers identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422113349.htm>.
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). (2014, April 22). Researchers identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422113349.htm
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "Researchers identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422113349.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins