Fruit Bats as Reservoirs of Ebola Virus

Nature. 2005 Dec 1;438(7068):575-6. doi: 10.1038/438575a.

Abstract

The first recorded human outbreak of Ebola virus was in 1976, but the wild reservoir of this virus is still unknown. Here we test for Ebola in more than a thousand small vertebrates that were collected during Ebola outbreaks in humans and great apes between 2001 and 2003 in Gabon and the Republic of the Congo. We find evidence of asymptomatic infection by Ebola virus in three species of fruit bat, indicating that these animals may be acting as a reservoir for this deadly virus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Ape Diseases / epidemiology
  • Ape Diseases / prevention & control
  • Ape Diseases / transmission
  • Ape Diseases / virology
  • Chiroptera / classification
  • Chiroptera / immunology
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Congo / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks / veterinary
  • Disease Reservoirs / veterinary*
  • Disease Reservoirs / virology*
  • Ebolavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Ebolavirus / physiology
  • Gabon / epidemiology
  • Gorilla gorilla / virology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / immunology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / veterinary
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / virology*
  • Humans
  • Pan troglodytes / virology
  • Seasons
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology
  • Zoonoses / transmission
  • Zoonoses / virology

Substances

  • Antibodies, Viral