TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2018

Study reveals Ebola, bats wage molecular war

US partially able to treat Ebola
US partially able to treat Ebola | Courtesy of nature.com
A recent study from the University of Colorado-Boulder, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases has demonstrated that the Ebola virus and bats have fought a molecular war for centuries

The study, published in eLife journal, shows this battle may have been happening over the last 25 million years. This is important because the scientists may be able to find whether there are certain bat species that carry the virus and infect humans. These biological factors can show how the virus is transmitted from bats to humans.

As opposed to HIV or the influenza virus, Ebola remains latent inside a reservoir until it resurfaces in an outbreak. This reservoir has not yet been found.

"We knew from our previous research that Ebola virus infects host cells by attaching its surface glycoprotein to a host cell receptor called NPC1," Dr. Kartik Chandran, study leader and associate professor of microbiology & immunology at Einstein College of Medicine, said. "Here, we show how bats have evolved to resist Ebola infection and how, in turn, the virus could have evolved to overcome that resistance."

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine

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