The family of the Filoviruses is not perhaps known to everyone. However, the representatives of their two most important genera are known worldwide and feared: Marburg – and, above all, Ebola virus can lead in humans to severe diseases with high death rates among the Infected. Currently about an Ebola epidemic raging in the Congo. Scientists have discovered in Asia, is now a previously unknown pathogens, and also to the family of Filoviruses.

researchers Lin-Fa Wang of the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, and Zheng-Li Shi of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, reports in the scientific magazine “Nature Microbiology” of a Fund, you have made of the liver of a Rosette of flying Fox in the South-Western Chinese province of Yunnan.

notes to a new Virus genus

From the tissues of the animal were able to isolate a Virus that is genetically different from the genera, the Marburg and Ebola viruses, at the same time, however, this is related. Thus, the same receptor protein called NPC1 would be used to infect cells. The researchers speak of the Mengla-Virus, the Name refers to the County, the dog came.

The examined genetic material of the pathogen matching only 32, or 54 percent of the known Filoviruses, according to the researchers. You could settle the new pathogen in the tree between Marburg and Ebola virus. It is possible that you have even discovered a new genus to include the several different, as yet unknown viruses.

risk to humans is still unclear

As with other Filoviruses, there is according to the findings, the researcher is also now the risk that the pathogen Species could be overcome. You have been able to infect in experiments in the laboratory, including cells of monkeys, Hamsters, dogs, and people. There is a need for further research to the practical spread of risk on the flight dogs, in addition to determine.

To the family of Filoviruses another, rather unknown genre, the Cueva virus by the way. These were first detected in 2011 in the case of long wing bats in a cave in Spain. Here, there is as yet no evidence about a possible danger for people.

flying foxes and bats are seen as the main suspect for the Transmission of Ebolavriren to the people – without being ill themselves. In fact, their role in the spread of the disease, however, is not without controversy. Some researchers argue that the animals may be harboring the pathogen, although, without a doubt, these however, were to pass on. You should therefore take any hasty measures, with the number of flying foxes and bats decimated would be.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.