Thursday, 25 April 2019

New Bombali ebolavirus found in Kenyan bat


Evidence for a widespread virus reservoir in Africa
Date:  April 2, 2019
Source:  University of Helsinki
Researchers have identified Bombali ebolavirus in an Angolan free-tailed bat captured in the Taita Hills, southeast Kenya. No ebolaviruses have been previously reported from wildlife in countries along the east coast of Africa. There is no current evidence that Bombali ebolavirus infects people.
Until recently, five ebolavirus species were known, with three of these -- Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire ebolaviruses -- associated with large human outbreaks. The latter is responsible for the devastating 2013-16 outbreak in West Africa and the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
However, the reservoirs of ebolaviruses have remained enigmatic, though fruit bats have been implicated and demonstrated as the reservoir for related Marburg virus. Last year a sixth ebolavirus species, Bombali virus, was found in saliva and faeces from bats in Sierra Leone.


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