Filoviridae

Properties of Filoviridae 485

P& thogenesis 486

Clinical Features 486

Laboratory Diagnosis 487

Epidemiology 487

Prevention 487

In 1967 31 cases of hemorrhagic fever, with 7 deaths, occurred among laboratory workers in Marburg, Germany, and Belgrade, Yugoslavia, who were processing kidneys from African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) that had been imported from Uganda. A bizarre new virus with very long, filamentous virions was isolated from both patients and monkeys; it was named Marburg virus.

Nine years later two further extraordinary epidemics of hemorrhagic fever occurred, one in villages in the rainforests of Zaire and then in the local hospital, and the other in a cotton factory and then in the local hospital in southern Sudan, 600-700 km away. Altogether there were more than 550 cases and 430 deaths. A virus morphologically identical to but antigenically distinct from Marburg virus was isolated from patients in each location; it was named Ebola virus. The viruses from Zaire and Sudan were slightly different and are designated Ebola-Z and Ebola-S, respectively. Since then, sporadic human cases ol hemorrhagic fever due to Marburg virus have been recognized in southern Africa and sporadic infections with Ebola virus in Sudan, Zaire, and Kenya.

In 1989 and 1990 several shipments of monkeys imported from the Philippines into the United States were found to have been infected with a filovirus morphologically identical and serologically related to Ebola virus. Infected monkeys at a holding facility at Reston, Virginia (hence the name Ebola-Reslon virus), became ill and some died. There were no human cases of disease, but 14% of persons having close occupational contact with the monkeys tested positive for filovirus antibodies. Serological examination of several thousand cynomolgus monkeys imported into the United States in 1989, from the Philippines and Indonesia, showed that 11.7% had antibody to the Reston virus.

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