Abstract

Putatively named Bombali Ebola virus was identified in organs and excreta of an Angolan free-tailed bat (Mops condylurus) in Kenya. Complete genome analysis revealed 98% nucleotide sequence similarity to the prototype virus from Sierra Leone. No Ebola virus–specific RNA or antibodies were detected from febrile humans in the area who reported contact with bats.

The virus family Filoviridae is divided into 3 genera, CuevavirusMarburgvirus, and Ebolavirus (1). Six distinct Ebola viruses have been described; 4 are known to cause human disease (1,2). These include highly lethal pathogens capable of producing large outbreaks, namely Bundibugyo, Sudan, and Zaire Ebola viruses, the last responsible for the devastating 2013–2016 outbreak in West Africa and an ongoing extended outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1,3,4). Although the natural reservoirs of Ebola viruses remain unconfirmed, considerable evidence supports a role for bat species, particularly fruit bats, analogous to findings implicating Rousettus aegypticus fruit bats as a reservoir for Marburg virus (1,5,6).

 

 

CC0 Creative Commons, Pixabay

Figure 1. Locations of Bombali Ebola virus infection in Sierra Leone (gray shading at left; Bombali district in red) and Kenya (gray shading at right; Taita

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Apr 2 University of Helsinki press release
Jul 27, 2018, CIDRAP News story “New Ebola species identified in Sierra Leone