16. Ebola Virus Disease anja.boehme.pdf
Cutaneous presentation may include: maculopapular rash, petechiae, purpura, ecchymoses,
and hematomas (especially around needle injection sites). Development of hemorrhagic symptoms is
generally indicative of a negative prognosis. However, contrary to popular belief, hemorrhage does
not lead to hypovolemia and is not the cause of death (total blood loss is low except during labor).
Instead, death occurs due to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) due to fluid
redistribution, hypotension, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and focal tissue necroses.
Main article: Ebolavirus
EVD is caused by four of five viruses classified in the genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae,
order Mononegavirales: Bundibugyo virus (BDBV), Ebola virus (EBOV), Sudan virus (SUDV), and Taï
Forest virus (TAFV). The fifth virus, Reston virus (RESTV), is thought to be apathogenic for humans
and therefore not discussed here.
Genus Ebolavirus: species and their EVD-causing viruses
Species Name / Virus Name
1. Bundibugyo ebolavirus / Bundibugyo virus (BDBV; previously BEBOV)
2. Sudan ebolavirus / Sudan virus (SUDV; previously SEBOV)
3. Taï Forest ebolavirus / Taï Forest virus (TAFV; previously CIEBOV)
4. Zaire ebolavirus / Ebola virus (EBOV; previously ZEBOV)
Between 1976 and 1998, from 30,000 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods sampled
from outbreak regions, no ebolavirus was detected apart from some genetic traces found in six
rodents (Mus setulosus and Praomys) and one shrew (Sylvisorex ollula) collected from the Central
African Republic. Traces of EBOV were detected in the carcasses of gorillas and chimpanzees during
outbreaks in 2001 and 2003, which later became the source of human infections. However, the high
lethality from infection in these species makes them unlikely as a natural reservoir.
Plants, arthropods, and birds have also been considered as possible reservoirs; however, bats are
considered the most likely candidate. Bats were known to reside in the cotton factory in which
the index cases for the 1976 and 1979 outbreaks were employed, and they have also been implicated
in Marburg virus infections in 1975 and 1980. Of 24 plant species and 19 vertebrate species
experimentally inoculated with EBOV, only bats became infected. The absence of clinical signs in
these bats is characteristic of a reservoir species. In a 2002–2003 survey of 1,030 animals which
included 679 bats from Gabon and the Republic of the Congo, 13 fruit bats were found to contain
EBOV RNA fragments. As of 2005, three types of fruit bats (Hypsignathus monstrosus, Epomops
franqueti, and Myonycteris torquata) have been identified as being in contact with EBOV. They are
now suspected to represent the EBOV reservoir hosts.
The existence of integrated genes of filoviruses in some genomes of small rodents, insectivorous
bats, shrews, tenrecs, and marsupials indicates a history of infection with filoviruses in these groups
as well. However, it has to be stressed that infectious ebolaviruses have not yet been isolated from
any nonhuman animal.
Bats drop partially eaten fruits and pulp, then terrestrial mammals such as gorillas and duikers feed
on these fallen fruits. This chain of events forms a possible indirect means of transmission from the
natural host to animal populations, which have led to research towards viral shedding in the saliva of
bats. Fruit production, animal behavior, and other factors vary at different times and places which may
trigger outbreaks among animal populations. Transmission between natural reservoirs and humans
are rare, and outbreaks are usually traceable to a single index case where an individual has handled
the carcass of gorilla, chimpanzee, or duiker. The virus then spreads person-to-person, especially
within families, hospitals, and during some mortuary rituals where contact among individuals becomes