Ebola cousin found in bats

2009-08-03 09:44

kalahari.com

Washington - Thousands of bats in a cave in Uganda are infected with Marburg virus, a cousin of the Ebola virus, researchers said on Friday, strengthening the theory the mammals are natural carriers of the deadly viruses.

A study by Pierre Rollin and colleagues at the Special Pathogens Branch at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found live virus in 5% of the bats tested in the cave, where miners were infected with Marburg in 2007.

"Our finding of active virus infection in approximately 5% of R aegyptiacus bats and their population exceeding 100 000 in Kitaka cave in Uganda suggests there are likely over 5 000 Marburg virus-infected bats in this cave, which is only one of many such cave populations throughout Africa," they wrote in their report in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens.

"Clearly, these bats could serve as a major source of virus with potential to initiate human epidemics, and the implications for public health are striking."

Researchers have long suspected bats were the natural reservoirs of Ebola and Marburg - both lethal viruses in the same family. Ebola can kill between 50% and 90% of patients, while Marburg is a bit less deadly.

A natural reservoir is an animal that carries and transmits an infection without becoming ill.

Rollin's team sampled the blood of bats in the giant cave, where one miner died from Marburg in 2007.

The virus samples from the sick miners and from the bats were close genetic matches, they reported. "These data indicate common Egyptian fruit bats can represent a major natural reservoir and source of Marburg virus with potential for spillover into humans," they wrote.
 

Read more on:    animals  |  ebola  |  health
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Nkandla: Zuma 'still looking for undue benefit'

President Jacob Zuma has told supporters at an election rally in Mpumalanga that he had not wrongfully benefited from the upgrade to his Nkandla home.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3515.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.