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Perseverance of Ebola virus found in rhesus monkeys

Perseverance of Ebola virus found in rhesus monkeys
Written by Shubham Jain

Researchers have found the perseverance of Ebola virus in rhesus monkeys. The rhesus monkeys have been surviving the infection caused by the deadly virus for so long, the virus no longer shows in symptoms in the species. Ebola virus persists in the eye, brain of the animal which are the same sites where it is found in humans.

According to the researchers, Virus is found in macrophages which contain the protein CD68 on their surface, that’s can be the place where the virus can hide “In the animals that showed an acute or shortened course of disease, the virus primarily replicated in the blood vessels,” said Xiankun Zeng, doctoral student from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).

“In those with a longer disease progression, the virus spread to surrounding tissues in the immune privileged sites. And in the survivors, we could see that the virus had migrated out of the blood vessels and into specific locations within immune privileged sites,” Zeng added.

This study was published in the journal Nature Microbiology, it was also shown in the study that the persistence of Ebola virus in the brain causes swelling, the virus persists in the brain by breaking down the blood-brain barrier. The Ebola virus spread widely and very quickly became the deadliest event of the disease in the West America in 2013-2016 since the virus was discovered in 1976.

“This study lays the foundation for developing animal models of persistent Ebola virus infection in humans,” Zeng explained.

“What we observed in primates is quite similar to what happened during the outbreak–there were survivors with latent infection, but the virus could not be found in the blood. This makes it much more difficult to contain the spread of the virus.”

About the author

Shubham Jain