Detection of Ebola Virus Antibodies in Fecal Samples of Great Apes in Gabon

Viruses. 2020 Nov 24;12(12):1347. doi: 10.3390/v12121347.


Based on a large study conducted on wild great ape fecal samples collected in regions of Gabon where previous human outbreaks of Ebola virus disease have occurred between 1994 and 2002, we provide evidence for prevalence of Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV)-specific antibodies of 3.9% (immunoglobulin G (IgG)) and 3.5% (immunoglobulin M (IgM)) in chimpanzees and 8.8% (IgG) and 2.4% (IgM) in gorillas. Importantly, we observed a high local prevalence (31.2%) of anti-EBOV IgG antibodies in gorilla samples. This high local rate of positivity among wild great apes raises the question of a spatially and temporally localized increase in EBOV exposure risk and the role that can be played by these animals as sentinels of the virus's spread or reemergence in a given area.

Keywords: Africa; Ebola; Luminex; great ape.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Ape Diseases / diagnosis
  • Ape Diseases / epidemiology
  • Ape Diseases / immunology*
  • Ape Diseases / virology*
  • Ebolavirus*
  • Feces / virology
  • Gabon / epidemiology
  • Geography
  • Gorilla gorilla / immunology*
  • Gorilla gorilla / virology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / veterinary*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Pan troglodytes / immunology
  • RNA, Viral
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • RNA, Viral