Detection and molecular characterization of Ebola viruses causing disease in human and nonhuman primates

J Infect Dis. 1999 Feb;179 Suppl 1:S164-9. doi: 10.1086/514282.


Ebola (EBO) viruses were detected in specimens obtained during the hemorrhagic fever outbreak among humans in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in 1995 (subtype Zaire) and during an outbreak of disease in cynomolgus macaques in Alice, Texas, and the Philippines in 1996 (subtype Reston). Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assays were developed and proven effective for detecting viral RNA in body fluids and tissues of infected individuals. Little change was seen in the nucleotide or deduced amino acid sequences of the glycoprotein (GP) of these EBO virus subtypes compared with those of their original representatives (i.e., the 1976 Yambuku, DRC, EBO isolate [subtype Zaire] and the 1989 Philippines and Reston, Virginia, isolates [subtype Reston]). The nonstructural secreted GP (SGP), the primary product of the GP gene, was more highly conserved than the structural GP, indicating different functional roles or evolutionary constraints for these proteins. Significant amounts of SGP were detected in acutely infected humans.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks / veterinary
  • Ebolavirus / classification
  • Ebolavirus / genetics*
  • Ebolavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Glycoproteins / blood
  • Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / veterinary
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / virology*
  • Humans
  • Macaca fascicularis / virology
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Monkey Diseases / epidemiology
  • Monkey Diseases / virology
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Philippines / epidemiology
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / blood
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins*


  • DNA Primers
  • Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Viral
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • envelope glycoprotein, Ebola virus
  • secreted glycoprotein, Ebola virus