Isolation of Angola-like Marburg from Egyptian rousette bats from Africa

field sampling team in Sierra Leone

Isolation of Angola-like Marburg from Egyptian rousette bats from Africa

Brian R. Amman, Brian H. Bid, Ibahim A. Bakarr, James Bangura, Amy J. Schuh, Jonathan Johnny, Tara K. Sealy, Immah Conteh, Alusine H. Koroma, Ibrahim Foday, Emmanuel Amra, Abdulai A. Bangura, Aiah A. Gbakima, Alexandre Tremeau-Bravard, Manjunatha Belaganahalli, Jasjeet Dhanota, Andrew Chow, Victoria Ontiveros, Alexandra Gibson, Joseph Turay, Ketan Patel, James Graziano, Camilla Bangura, Emmanuel S. Kamanda, Augustus Osborne, Emmanuel Saidu, Jonathan Musa, Doris Bangura, Samuel Maxwell Tom Williams, Richard Wadsworth, Mohamed Turay, Lavalie Edwin, Vanessa Mereweather-Thompson, Dickson Kargbo, Fatmata V. Bairoh, Marilyn Kanu, Willie Robert, Victor Lungai, Raoul Emeric Guetiya Wadoum, Moinya Coomber, Osman Kanu, Amara Jambai, Sorie M. Kamara, Celine H. Taboy, Tushar Singh, Jonna A.K. Mazet, Stuart T. Nichol, Tracey Goldstein, Jonathan S. Towner & Aiah Lebbie

Publication Link

Marburg virus (MARV), a pathogen of human concern that has caused sporadic outbreaks of Marburg disease in Eastern and Southern Africa, was discovered in Egyptian rousette bats in Sierra Leone. This is the first time MARV was identified in reservoir hosts in West Africa. 

Key Finding 

  • The One Health surveillance approach enabled the discovery of Marburg virus (MARV) in Egyptian rousette bats in Sierra Leone before any disease diagnoses in humans in West Africa 

Informing Action 

The regional discovery of this virus by the PREDICT team has helped place this pathogen on physicians’ radar when diagnosing cases of hemorrhagic fever in West Africa. This study can also inform public health interventions designed to reduce human-bat contact within at-risk communities, while also promoting the conservation of these bat populations that are vital to ecosystem health. 

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