Ebola virus

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Ebola virus
Ebola virus - Ebola virus leads to a deadly journey from an outbreak in West Africa in March 2014, infecting more than 10,000 people from different countries and taking with it 5,000 victims so far.

Now a team of researchers from the Department of Microbiology, University of Washington (USA) has made an experiment with laboratory mice in order to find out why some infected with Ebola patients are saved and others die. The result of the study, published in the journal Science, reveals that the devil is in the genes.

For their experiment, the scientists infected with the Zaire strain of Ebola (the same kind of virus causing the current outbreak) but a variant own for mice, finding that survival itself is a key genetic component.

Infected by Ebola strain mice lost weight during the first days after infection. Nevertheless, 19% of the mice died and regained their weight within two weeks. 11% were partially resistant and less than half of them died during the experiment. In sum, the surviving mice experienced increased activity in genes that order the repair of blood vessels and the production of white blood cells that fight infection.

“This is the first study to definitively show that the genetic background of the host organization can determine the range of manifestations of the disease. It is also the first model to link specific genes to this result, “says the agency Sync Angela Rasmussen, co-author of the study.

This finding, say the authors, will be vital to understanding the genetic basis of virus as well as for the development of tools for diagnosis and medicines or vaccines to prevent future outbreaks.

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