The Pathogenesis of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Trends Microbiol. 2001 Oct;9(10):506-11. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(01)02201-6.


Ebola virus causes lethal hemorrhagic disease in humans, yet there are still no satisfactory biological explanations to account for its extreme virulence. This review focuses on recent findings relevant to understanding the pathogenesis of Ebola virus infection and developing vaccines and effective therapy. The available data suggest that the envelope glycoprotein and the interaction of some viral proteins with the immune system are likely to play important roles in the extraordinary pathogenicity of this virus. There are also indications that genetically engineered vaccines, including plasmid DNA and viral vectors expressing Ebola virus proteins, and passive transfer of neutralizing antibodies could be feasible options for the control of Ebola virus-associated disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / etiology
  • Ebolavirus / classification
  • Ebolavirus / genetics
  • Ebolavirus / pathogenicity*
  • Hemorrhage
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / etiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / immunology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Interferons / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Membrane Fusion
  • Nucleoproteins / metabolism
  • Nucleoproteins / pharmacology
  • Viral Core Proteins / metabolism
  • Viral Core Proteins / pharmacology
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / metabolism
  • Viral Vaccines


  • Nucleoproteins
  • Viral Core Proteins
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Viral Vaccines
  • envelope glycoprotein, Ebola virus
  • nucleoprotein VP35, Ebola virus
  • nucleoprotein VP40, Ebola virus
  • Interferons