Distinct mechanisms of entry by envelope glycoproteins of Marburg and Ebola (Zaire) viruses. (1/99)

Since the Marburg (MBG) and Ebola (EBO) viruses have sequence homology and cause similar diseases, we hypothesized that they associate with target cells by similar mechanisms. Pseudotype viruses prepared with a luciferase-containing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 backbone and packaged by the MBG virus or the Zaire subtype EBO virus glycoproteins (GP) mediated infection of a comparable wide range of mammalian cell types, and both were inhibited by ammonium chloride. In contrast, they exhibited differential sensitivities to treatment of target cells with tunicamycin, endoglycosidase H, or protease (pronase). Therefore, while they exhibit certain functional similarities, the MBG and EBO virus GP interact with target cells by distinct processes.  (+info)

Viewpoint: filovirus haemorrhagic fever outbreaks: much ado about nothing? (2/99)

The recent outbreak of Marburg haemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo has put the filovirus threat back on the international health agenda. This paper gives an overview of Marburg and Ebola outbreaks so far observed and puts them in a public health perspective. Damage on the local level has been devastating at times, but was marginal on the international level despite the considerable media attention these outbreaks received. The potential hazard of outbreaks, however, after export of filovirus from its natural environment into metropolitan areas, is argued to be considerable. Some avenues for future research and intervention are explored. Beyond the obvious need to find the reservoir and study the natural history, public health strategies for a more timely and efficient response are urgently needed.  (+info)

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for detection of antibodies to Ebola and Marburg viruses using recombinant nucleoproteins. (3/99)

The full-length nucleoprotein (NP) of Ebola virus (EBO) was expressed as a His-tagged recombinant protein (His-EBO-NP) by a baculovirus system. Carboxy-terminal halves of NPs of EBO and Marburg virus (MBG) were expressed as glutathione S-transferase-tagged recombinant proteins in an Escherichia coli system. The antigenic regions on the NPs of EBO and MBG were determined by both Western blotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to be located on the C-terminal halves. The C-terminal 110 and 102 amino acids of the NPs of EBO and MBG, respectively, possess strong antigenicity. The full-length NP of EBO was strongly expressed in insect cells upon infection with the recombinant baculovirus, while expression of the full-length NP of MBG was weak. We developed an immunoglobulin G (IgG) ELISA using His-EBO-NP and the C-terminal halves of the NPs of EBO and MBG as antigens. We evaluated the IgG ELISA for the ability to detect IgG antibodies to EBO and MBG, using human sera collected from EBO and MBG patients. The IgG ELISA with the recombinant NPs showed high sensitivity and specificity in detecting EBO and MBG antibodies. The results indicate that ELISA systems prepared with the recombinant NPs of EBO and MBG are valuable tools for the diagnosis of EBO and MBG infections and for seroepidemiological field studies.  (+info)

VP40, the matrix protein of Marburg virus, is associated with membranes of the late endosomal compartment. (4/99)

Localization of VP40 in Marburg virus (MBGV)-infected cells was studied by using immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopic analysis. VP40 was detected in association with nucleocapsid structures, present in viral inclusions and at sites of virus budding. Additionally, VP40 was identified in the foci of virus-induced membrane proliferation and in intracellular membrane clusters which had the appearance of multivesicular bodies (MVBs). VP40-containing MVBs were free of nucleocapsids. When analyzed by immunogold labeling, the concentration of VP40 in MVBs was six times higher than in nucleocapsid structures. Biochemical studies showed that recombinant VP40 represented a peripheral membrane protein that was stably associated with membranes by hydrophobic interaction. Recombinant VP40 was also found in association with membranes of MVBs and in filopodia- or lamellipodia-like protrusions at the cell surface. Antibodies against marker proteins of various cellular compartments showed that VP40-positive membranes contained Lamp-1 and the transferrin receptor, confirming that they belong to the late endosomal compartment. VP40-positive membranes were also associated with actin. Western blot analysis of purified MBGV structural proteins demonstrated trace amounts of actin, Lamp-1, and Rab11 (markers of recycling endosomes), while markers for other cellular compartments were absent. Our data indicate that MBGV VP40 was able to interact with membranes of late endosomes in the course of viral infection. This capability was independent of other MBGV proteins.  (+info)

Immunoglobulin M and G responses measured by immunofluorescence in patients with Lassa or Marburg virus infections. (5/99)

Immunoglobulin M antibodies can be measured by indirect immunofluorescence in sera of patients suffering from Lassa fever or Marburg virus disease 4-7 days after onset of illness. Titres reach a peak 1-2 weeks later. These antibodies disappear, or titres decrease considerably, 1-2 months after onset of illness. Antiviral IgG antibodies can be detected at the same time as, or a little later than, IgM antibodies, but they persist much longer. None of the three patients discussed in this paper who died of Lassa fever developed IgG antibodies and only one developed IgM antibodies.  (+info)

Short communication: a cluster of Marburg virus disease involving an infant. (6/99)

A noteworthy cluster of six cases of Marburg haemorrhagic fever (MHF) was identified in the Democratic Republic of Congo. One of the cases is the first infant Marburg fever patient ever documented. Three of six cases presented surprisingly mild symptoms. The results of epidemiological and virological investigations are compatible with person-to-person transmission through body fluids and with mother-to-child transmission while nurturing. The findings show that mild cases of MHF have to be expected during an outbreak and point out the difficulty to base patient management decisions on clinical case definitions alone.  (+info)

Characterization of monoclonal antibodies to Marburg virus (strain Musoke) glycoprotein and identification of two protective epitopes. (7/99)

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) reactive with Marburg virus (strain Musoke) were evaluated for both biological activity and specificity. Several of the Marburg virus- (MBGV) specific MAbs reduced the size and/or number of MBGV plaques in vitro. The ability of the MAbs to affect plaque formation in vitro was demonstrated to be specific for the glycoprotein (GP) of the strain of MBGV used for vaccination. Using deletion analysis and peptide mapping, the binding epitopes of several of these neutralizing MAbs were identified. Not unexpectedly, the epitopes were shown to lie in the most hypervariable and highly glycosylated region of MBGV GP. An analysis of the in vivo activity of several MAbs revealed that some antibodies provided substantial but incomplete protection of naive guinea pigs by passive transfer. These data suggest that neutralizing epitopes exist within MBGV GP but that induction of antibodies to these neutralizing epitopes may not be sufficient for protection from lethal infection.  (+info)

Risk factors for Marburg hemorrhagic fever, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (8/99)

We conducted two antibody surveys to assess risk factors for Marburg hemorrhagic fever in an area of confirmed Marburg virus transmission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Questionnaires were administered and serum samples tested for Marburg-specific antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Fifteen (2%) of 912 participants in a general village cross-sectional antibody survey were positive for Marburg immunoglobulin G antibody. Thirteen (87%) of these 15 were men who worked in the local gold mines. Working as a miner (odds ratio [OR] 13.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.1 to 62.1) and receiving injections (OR 7.4, 95% CI 1.6 to 33.2) were associated with a positive antibody result. All 103 participants in a targeted antibody survey of healthcare workers were antibody negative. Primary transmission of Marburg virus to humans likely occurred via exposure to a still unidentified reservoir in the local mines. Secondary transmission appears to be less common with Marburg virus than with Ebola virus, the other known filovirus.  (+info)