Ebola Virus Essay

1280 words - 6 pages

Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Ebola HF is a dreadful and fatal disease in both humans and nonhuman primates, and is caused by an infection of the Ebola virus. Along with the Marburg virus it is a member of the family Filoviridae. The Filoviridae family is negative-sense, or negative-strand, RNA viruses. Along with three other families of negative ssRNA viruses, Filoviridae is set apart as being a family of viruses containing genomes that are nonsegmented (genomes do not contain segments) (Farlex, Inc., 2014) (Kawaoka, Neumann, & Whitt, 2002).

Figure 1
From Figure 1 it is possible to observe what happens after the journey to and the mechanism of implanting in the new host ...view middle of the document...

Some other cell types that the Ebola virus actively infects are mononuclear monocytes with dendrites being more affected than monocytes and macrophages. Endothelial cells can also be affected by this filovirus once all connective tissue surrounding them is. Lastly, any epithelial cell at that point can be affected (Waterman, 1999).

Figure 2

Figure 3
Figure 3 is an electron micrograph of Ebola Zaire virus taken on October 31, 1976 by Frederick A. Murphy, D.V.M., Ph.D. at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) (Waterman, 1999). The Ebola Zaire virus was first subspecies to be discovered. There are now five subspecies of the Ebola virus that have been established (Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus), Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus), TaÏ Forest virus (TaÏ Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus), Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus), and Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus); four of the five subtypes of the Ebola virus reside in an animal host that is native to the continent of Africa. It is also important to note that the first 4 out of the 5 subtypes have caused this disease in humans (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, 2014).
As indicated by Figure 4 there were outbreaks in the remote areas of Kikwit, the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC) in 1995 (Manning, 2012). Despite delayed recognition of these outbreaks, scientists were able to obtain and test a fair amount of specimens; these tests were used to investigate when certain antibodies appeared and how long they persisted in patients. It can also be observed that there were outbreaks in several areas of Gabon from 1994-1996 (Bressler, et al., 1999). The initial isolation of Ebo-Z in Gabon was suggested to be the most pathogenic to both humans and nonhuman primates and caused more than one outbreak. During this time scientists were observing inflammatory (immune) responses in order to find which inflammatory responses correlated with survival (Baize, et al., 2002).

Figure 4
As it depicts in Figure 5, researchers believe that this filovirus is zoonotic (meaning that the virus is animal-borne). Bats are most likely the reservoir, or hosts, of the Ebola virus but how the virus is sustained and transmitted between populations of bats has not been found (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, 2014). According to some studies it has been found that the Ebola virus can replicate in fruit bats and then bats of the same genus that have been inoculated with the filovirus can pass infectious Ebola virions in their stool (“guano”); therefore, the Ebola virus could have been transmitted from the infectious guano to humans or nonhuman primates. There is a question of whether or not bats are the main host due to the fact that Ebo-Z is highly pathogenic in several species common in Africa; many believe they would be the intermediate host. Another issue is that these bats may only be the host to a specific strain of Ebola (Waterman, 1999).

Figure 5
Hemorrhagic inflammatory responses are crucial when...

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