hemorrhagic fever virus
discovered in the former Zaire in 1976
single stranded RNA virus of Filovirida family (pics)
19K nucleotides --> 8 protein including surface glycoprotein (used for vaccines?)
Ebola is immunosuppressive
infects monocytes first, then spreads to macrophages, endothelia, & liver
macrophages release multiple cytokines --> lymphocytes to undergo apoptosis
--> intravasculature coagulation --> fibrin clots --> hemorrhage
easily killed via paraformaldehyde
vaccines & passive immunity trials underway (summer 2002)
* may have been weaponized by Russians (Biohazard by Ken Alibeck)
of a protein's structure to its action:
Ebola virus is so deadly due to its ease of entry into host cells.
the virion coat contains a 'spike' protein [glycoprotein] whose crystallized structure was recently
determined by X-ray crystallography at Scripps in LaJolla by immunologist Erica Saphire and her research
group (Nature 454: 177-182, 2008). the GP's attach easily to host and drive virion into a host cell.
the carbohydrates wrapping the glycoproteins mask the virion from a host
immune system, but knowing the structure of the GP1 has shown a few
sites not coated by sugars available for attack by drugs.
the virion's receptor binding site is a mucin-like domain at the center-base of a chalice shape made by three GP1 proteins and protected by a canopy of the GP1's. The chalice is cradled by GP2 subunits. The canopy is likely shed as the virion approaches a host allowing binding of the mucin domain to the host.
|WHO Ebola Fact Sheet|
|CDC 4th Biosafety Symposium report 1997|
|Hemorrhagic Fever [WHO Surveillance & Response - CSR]|
|WHO Guidelines for Epidemic Preparedness for Hemorrhagic Fevers|
|List of Ebola Outbreaks cmallery (July, 2008) - back|