Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fever

J Clin Virol. 2015 Mar:64:111-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2015.01.014. Epub 2015 Jan 23.


Ebolaviruses and Marburgviruses (family Filoviridae) are among the most virulent pathogens for humans and great apes causing severe haemorrhagic fever and death within a matter of days. This group of viruses is characterized by a linear, non-segmented, single-stranded RNA genome of negative polarity. The overall burden of filovirus infections is minimal and negligible compared to the devastation caused by malnutrition and other infectious diseases prevalent in Africa such as malaria, dengue or tuberculosis. In this paper, we review the knowledge gained on the eco/epidemiology, the pathogenesis and the disease control measures for Marburg and Ebola viruses developed over the last 15 years. The overall progress is promising given the little attention that these pathogen have achieved in the past; however, more is to come over the next decade given the more recent interest in these pathogens as potential public and animal health concerns. Licensing of therapeutic and prophylactic options may be achievable over the next 5-10 years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Ebolavirus / pathogenicity
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola* / diagnosis
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola* / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola* / prevention & control
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Marburg Virus Disease* / diagnosis
  • Marburg Virus Disease* / epidemiology
  • Marburg Virus Disease* / prevention & control
  • Marburg Virus Disease* / therapy
  • Marburgvirus / pathogenicity
  • Prevalence