Friday, September 19, 2014
Research Yields Game Changer for Improving Understanding of Ebola
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)-led research, published today in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, describes the use of fecal samples from wild great apes to identify populations likely to have been exposed to the virus. This represents a new tool for performing large, population-scale field assessments that can potentially change the way Ebola virus is studied and improve our understanding of the virus' distribution in space and time—a matter of great importance to both the human health and conservation communities.
The new methodology exploits the fact that, like humans, apes surviving viral infections develop antibodies against them. Typically, those antibodies are measured in the blood. The scientists, however, developed a laboratory technique that can isolate antibodies from ape feces....