In China found a relative of the Ebola virus. He can infect people

In China found a relative of the Ebola virus. He can infect people

Biologists from China and Singapore have found bat in one of the provinces of China fragments of a new kind of virus — a relative of the viruses Ebola and Marburg. In theory, it is able to infect humans.

The filovirus family includes three genera. Two of them deadly to humans — is Ebolavirus, the most famous representative of which is the Ebola virus and Marburgvirus that causes fever Marburg. The third sort — Cuevavirus (virus, Llovio) detected recently in bats and humans, and presumably harmless. Genome viruses of this family consists of single-stranded RNA viruses are genetically similar — as well as those that use the same receptor NPC1 for entry into the cell.

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Recently a team of researchers from Wuhan Institute of Virology and the National University of Singapore have discovered a new branch of this virus family in bats living in the Chinese province of Yunnan. Three of its member groups called the virus Mengla named the area where he was found. In the new work, published this Monday in the journal Nature Microbiology, scientists discuss in more details one of the detected groups of viruses.

Experts examined fruit-eating bats of the genera Rousettus, and Eonycteris, which is also called flying dogs. Their internal organs were able to identify fragments of the nucleotide sequence of the virus, which transcript showed that he 32-54% coincides with the already known members of the family of the filovirus, particularly the Ebola virus.

While there is no direct evidence of infection with the new virus people, however, there is reason to believe that he can do it.

In particular, he discovered the same protein that helps his “cousins” — Ebola and Marburg — attaching to cellular receptors and infect cells of humans and monkeys, dogs and hamsters. It was shown in experiments with cell cultures.

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While genetically, the virus is so different from other genera of this family that scientists have decided to highlight it in a new genus within the family of the filovirus, named Dianlovirus.

Scientists continue to explore the bats viruses, which they can hiding and a possible threat to humans. You should also do screening of the local population, to check if he has the potential of antibodies to new infections.