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Ebola: The Epidemic Accelerates * Analysis of the virus genome revealed that it mutated rapidly as it spread

A study conducted by brave researchers in Sierra Leone, some of whom died of the disease, shows that the origin of the outbreak was a single transmission from an animal to a human, and that the virus split from the viruses that caused previous epidemics about a decade ago

The Ebola virus is hitting Africa. Illustration: shutterstock
The Ebola virus is hitting Africa. Illustration: shutterstock

Researchers from Sierra Leone led by Agustin Guba, who treated the first Ebola patients in the country, including a pregnant woman who contracted the virus after attending the funeral of the victim of the disease in Guinea, took the opportunity to study the genome sequence of 99 viruses from the blood of 78 Ebola patients. This is reported by the news website of the journal Nature.

Yesterday the World Health Organization announced that the mortality rates in the four West African countries where the Ebola virus has re-emerged: Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Guinea, exceed 50%. According to the data, there are 3,069 diagnosed cases and of these, 1,552 people died from the disease. It was also stated in the update that in the last three weeks there has been a significant acceleration in the spread of the virus and about 40% of the diagnosed cases occurred during this period

In an article published in the journal Science, they write that the information may help in planning diagnostic kits, medicines and vaccines. The Ebola epidemic has so far caused the death of 1,400 people, including five of the partners in Gova's article.

The findings were published on July 31 Contains the largest collection of genetic information on Ebola to date. To obtain them, the researchers had to take blood samples from the deceased and bring them for testing, mainly Kenema. They used the solutions that neutralize the virus and sent them for flooring to the Broad Institute in Caveridge, Massachusetts.
The researchers sequenced the genome of each of the patients over 2,000 times and were able to track the mutations that the virus underwent as it passed from patient to patient and the advantage of this study over a previous study conducted in Guinea was that the researchers were able to isolate different mutations in the same patient.
By comparing the new data from Sierra Leone with those from Guinea, the researchers discovered that Ebola was brought to Sierra Leone by the 12 participants in the funeral in Guinea, and that the outbreak in West Africa originated from a single event in which the virus passed from an animal to a human.
Further comparisons led the researchers to hypothesize that the virus that caused the outbreak is separate from the viruses that caused previous Ebola epidemics about ten years ago. It accumulated 395 mutations between then and June 2014, when team members collected the last samples participating in the study, with fifty mutations added during the current outbreak.

And in the meantime, a positive turn in the fight against the epidemic was recorded last week, when two American aid workers who contracted Ebola and were flown from Nigeria to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, were declared to have recovered from the disease. The two, Kent Brantley - a doctor working in the humanitarian aid group Samaritan's Purse and Nancy Raitbull, from SIM USA managed to defeat the virus, which kills 52% of its victims, with a treatment previously only tried on monkeys.

A potential treatment for the Sudanese strain of Ebola could help curb future outbreaks

Ebola is a rare, but deadly disease caused by about five strains of viruses. None of these strains have a treatment. One of the deadliest strains is the Sudanese Ebola virus (SUDV). Although it is not the one responsible for the current deadly epidemic in West Africa, it has been a common factor in previous outbreaks, the most recent of which was in 2012.
In a new study that appears in the journal ACS Chemical Biology Researchers report that it will soon be possible to treat patients infected with SUDV.

John Day, Sidhu Sachasdev, Jonathan Lay and their colleagues explain that 50-90 percent of Ebola patients died after experiencing the typical symptoms of the disease, which include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding. The two main strains are the Zairian Ebola virus currently affecting West Africa, although less attention has been directed to the Sudanese virus. The team studied an antibody previously developed by Day's group. The virus has been successfully tested in mice, but the human immune system may recognize the antibodies to it as foreign and eventually get rid of them and prevent the antibody from treating the disease. To avoid this situation, they developed a "human" version of the antibody.

In recently published work, team members assembled the specific Ebola virus-blocking part of the mouse antibody onto a human antibody scaffold and made several changes to this molecule. They identified two variants that were able to repel the SUDV in laboratory tests on cells and mice. "These antibodies represent strong vaccine candidates for the treatment of SUDV infection," say the researchers.

However, as mentioned, this research could help during future outbreaks of the Sudanese Ebola virus.

Translated by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Ebola virus mutating rapidly as it spreads, copyright 2014

More of the topic in Hayadan:



6 תגובות

  1. Ofek
    There are many explanations for this, and I will give only a few. Dating based on tree rings is accurate up to a year, and gives a date up to approximately 12000 years ago. This is already 2 times the story of Genesis...

    We see that the dating based on tree rings corresponds to the dating based on carbon 14. In other words - carbon 14 dating works for at least 12000 years, and we have no reason to think that it is not accurate up to 60000 years before now.

    We have several other radio-active watches and we are seeing compatibility between all of these watches.

    We also have biological clocks, and there is full compatibility with them as well.

    We see objects in space, whose light takes a long time to reach us. We have no reason to think that the speed of light has changed over the years.

    There are countless very slow geological processes and again, there is no reason to think that in the past they were faster. This is one of the ideas that guided Darwin at the time to develop his Torah.

    There are many other explanations, but the dating of the trees alone definitely rules out the creation story.

  2. Hi, I have a question somewhat unrelated to the article
    From an argument with a religious person, he told me that radiometric dating made it impossible to know that the conditions once were no different from now and that it was impossible to know that the rate of decay has not changed
    The same goes for the moving away of the galaxies - it was impossible to know that a few hundred years ago the speed was not higher and then it slowed down and increased the pace again
    What is the answer to that? If allowed by email, thank you

  3. On the cover of the book "Shortcut, the death of common sense" there is a drawing reminiscent of the Ebola virus.
    Prof. Emmanuel Atzmon published the book in 2001.
    To create a break in the fighting, in 1917, the so-called "Spanish" flu virus was used
    Because Spain did not participate in the war and there was no censorship then it became known to the public
    On time. It is worth checking the outbreak of Sars in 2003 in connection with the war in Iraq and its publication
    About an excavation in a village in Alaska, all of whose inhabitants died in 1917, which was a little earlier...
    And about Indians who died en masse from combinations of diseases...
    And during a period of war to end a career for a virus with black bubbles - which started
    With the domestication of Japanese cows for thousands of years...we vaccinated all of humanity with the innocent bovine virus,
    which was preserved without mutation in cattle... and at the same time several diseases jumped from animals to humans in a way
    suspect... together? See the spread of AIDS in a neighborhood full of gay drivers
    Gather for weekends with penetration to fifty partners...
    Antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis bacteria were maliciously developed in Russian prisons in the 90s...
    And you won't talk about it openly?

  4. Someone - there is something we are not being told about the healing of the two Americans. First - Kent Brantley, according to several reports, injected himself with the blood of an 11-year-old boy who survived the disease naturally (which according to previous studies raised the chances of survival miraculously [in the current outbreak 1 out of 2 people died, while among those who were injected the blood of survivors, the survival rate is 7 out of 8]). Second, he came from a place where the hospitals are years behind and have outdated equipment, to a place where the equipment is the most modern (USA).

    Note that in the meantime, out of 6 who received/are receiving the treatment, two survived (the two Americans), two died (a Liberian doctor and a Spanish priest) and two - unknown.

    Bottom line - I don't think private investors will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars in the production of a drug that gives the same survival rates as the current outbreak.

  5. How do you know that the patients recovered as a result of the experimental treatment they received and did not recover like 20-50 percent of the subjects?

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