Good news for research into the terrible Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus.
American researchers have succeeded in genetically disarming the virus, thus rendering it non contaminant.
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This is a major advance that should facilitate research into this biological serial killer. There is a great deal at stake here as until now the Ebola virus could only be handled in type P4 maximum security laboratories. The number of these types of laboratories worldwide can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
To achieve this result, a team of researchers painstakingly sifted through
all the virus’s genes – what is known as the genome. This long and exacting task has helped in singling out one particular gene known as the VP30.
This gene produces a protein that allows the Ebola virus to multiply within the body. Without it, Ebola is unable to enter the cells. This remains only a basic research for the time being, but the prospects it offers seem definite and promising.
It is a mechanism that could open the way for the production of a
vaccine or even a treatment. But time is pressing as at present there is
neither a treatment nor a vaccine against this disease which is on the
increase on the African continent.
Vcitims and origin
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is fatal in 50 to 90 per cent of victims who present with clinical signs. Ebola hemorrhagic fever (also known as Ebola) is a contagious illness caused by an infection with the Ebola virus. It is often fatal in humans, monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees.
The Ebola virus was first recognized in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in 1976. There is no cure for Ebola; treatment usually consists of providing supportive care while the body fights the infection.
Other research works aimed at curbing the ebola hemorrhagic virus include ecological investigations of the virus and its possible reservoir, to effectively prevent future outbreaks as well as how common ebola outbreaks are.
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