Ebola Zaire In Non-Human Primates: A Threat To Biodiversity Conservation
To most of the world, Ebola Zaire haemorrhagic fever, also simply known as ‘the Ebola virus’ (EBOV) (Hayden, 2014), was relatively unknown until early 2014 when an outbreak in West Africa seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Yet outbreaks have been reported in primates, both human and non-human, since its discovery in 1976 (P. Ascenzi et al. 2008), and the outbreaks seem to be increasing in frequency. Several studies leave us with very little to no doubt that EBOV has caused severe die-offs among non-human primates (Bermejo et al. 2006; Caillaud et al. 2006), and is a great concern when considering biodiversity conservation of already threatened great apes. Unfortunately, …show more content…
2009). This essay will focus on Ebola Zaire haemorrhagic fever, looking into its microbiology, ecology, pathogenesis, immunology and finally how it affects wild …show more content…
saliva, blood, vomit and semen) of an individual that shows symptoms of Ebola, or the carcass of an EBOV victim (Meyers et al. 2014). It is generally believed that it is not an airborne disease, although transmission through air cannot be completely excluded (Feldmann and Geisbert, 2011; Johnson et al. 1995) as experiments have fund it feasible for droplets to carry disease.
It is not entirely clear how interspecific transmission from wild bats to non-human primates occur. Some lab experiments have shown that bats infected with another closely related filovirus; Marburg, shed the virus in their mouths through saliva. So it is possible that wild bats could spread Ebola Zaire in a similar way by leaving traces on fruit that later gets consumed by apes (Hayden, 2014).
Pathogenesis and immunology
Studies of Ebola under ideal conditions have been rare (Feldmann and Geisbert, 2011) and most of what we do know about EBOV comes from research done on rodents and non-human primates (P. Ascenzi et al. 2008). From this research and observations during epidemics it has so far been documented that the pathogenesis primarily involves immunosuppression, increased blood vessel permeability, and impaired coagulation (Meyers et al.