Ebola Virus: New Insights into Disease Aetiopathology and Possible Therapeutic Interventions
ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INST OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES FORT DETRICK MD
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Ebola virus EBOV gained public notoriety in the last decade largely as a consequence of the highly publicised isolation of a new EBOV species in a suburb of Washington, DC, in 1989, together with the dramatic clinical presentation of EBOV infection and high case-fatality rate in Africa near 90 in some outbreaks, and the unusual and striking morphology of the virus. Furthermore, there are no vaccines or effective therapies currently available. Progress in understanding the origins of the pathophysiological changes that make EBOV infections of humans so devastating has been slow, primarily because these viruses require special containment for safe research. However, an increasing understanding of the mechanisms of EBOV pathogenesis, facilitated by the development of new tools to elucidate critical regulatory elements in the viral life cycle, is providing new targets that can be exploited for therapeutic interventions. Notably, identifying factors triggering the haemorrhagic complications that characterise EBOV infections led to the development of a strategy to modulate coagulopathy this therapeutic modality successfully mitigated the effects of EBOV haemorrhagic fever in nonhuman primates. This review summarises our current understanding of EBOV pathogenesis and discusses various approaches to therapeutic intervention based on our current understanding of how EBOV produces a lethal infection.
- Medicine and Medical Research