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Ebola virus may have been present in West Africa long before 2014 outbreak

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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Viral Immunology is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published ten times a year online with Open Access options and in print. Topics cover both human and animal Viral Immunology,... view more

Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, February 12, 2015--It is not known what triggered the transmission of Ebola virus from its natural host to humans and the rapid human-to-human spread of the deadly virus throughout Western Africa last year. However, analysis of the blood of patients in Sierra Leone suspected of having Lassa fever, a severe viral illness, between 2011-2014, showed prior exposure to Ebola virus, suggesting that Ebola was present in the area well before the recent outbreak, as reported in Viral Immunology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Viral Immunology website until March 12, 2015.

Matthew Boisen, Corgenix Medical Corporation, Inc. (Broomfield, CO), and a team of authors representing the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, found that 22% of patients seen at Kenema Government Hospital in Eastern Sierra Leone for severe viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) who tested negative for Lassa fever had antibodies in their blood against Ebola virus, evidence of prior exposure to the infectious agent. The authors present their findings in the article entitled "Multiple Circulating Infections Can Mimic the Early Stages of Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers and Possible Human Exposure to Filoviruses in Sierra Leone Prior to the 2014 Outbreak."

"This is a fascinating observation that will cause us to rethink the dynamics of Ebola virus infections," says David L. Woodland, PhD, Editor-in Chief of Viral Immunology and Chief Scientific officer for Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology. "A better understanding of the relationship between the virus and its natural and human hosts may help prevent future outbreaks of this dreadful disease."

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About the Journal

Viral Immunology is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published ten times a year online with Open Access options and in print. Topics cover both human and animal Viral Immunology, exploring viral-based immunological diseases, pathogenic mechanisms, and virus-associated tumor and cancer immunology. The Journal includes original research papers, review articles, and commentaries covering the spectrum of laboratory and clinical research and exploring developments in vaccines and diagnostics targeting viral infections. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Viral Immunology website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, and Health Security (formerly Biosecurity and Bioterrorism). Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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