'Bas-Congo': Genetic sleuthing uncovers deadly new virus in Africa

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    Sep 30, 2012 2:32 PM GMT
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-09-bas-congo-genetic-sleuthing-uncovers-deadly.html

    An isolated outbreak of a deadly disease known as acute hemorrhagic fever, which killed two people and left one gravely ill in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the summer of 2009, was probably caused by a novel virus scientists have never seen before.

    Described this week in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens, the new microbe has been named Bas-Congo virus (BASV) after the province in the southwest corner of the Congo where the three people lived.

    It was discovered by an international research consortium that included the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and University of California, Davis (UCD), Global Viral, the Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville in Gabon, the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Metabiota and others.

    "Known viruses, such as Ebola, HIV and influenza, represent just the tip of the microbial iceberg," said Joseph Fair, PhD, a co-author and vice president of Metabiota. "Identifying deadly unknown viruses, such as Bas-Congo virus, gives us a leg up in controlling future outbreaks."

    "These are the only three cases known to have occurred, although there could be additional outbreaks from this virus in the future," said Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of laboratory medicine at UCSF and director of the UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center, who spearheaded the UCSF effort to identify the virus. Chiu and his team continue to work on new diagnostics to detect the virus so that health officials in Congo and elsewhere can quickly identify it should it emerge again.

    One odd characteristic of the Bas-Congo virus, Chiu said, is that while a number of other viruses in Africa also cause deadly outbreaks of acute hemorrhagic fever—Ebola virus, Lassa virus and Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus to name a few —the new virus is unlike any of them.
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    Sep 30, 2012 9:25 PM GMT
    Thanks for posting, interesting to note is the 'incubator' effect as to why these viruses and so virulent are coming out of the African continent - what common variables or environmental effects are causing them to spring forward?..lack of isolation within the environment, and most importantly how they are incredibly adapt into jumping into the human body. There should be more research from WHO or UN as to why this is the cause.
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    Sep 30, 2012 9:28 PM GMT
    riddler78 said

    "Known viruses, such as Ebola, HIV and influenza, represent just the tip of the microbial iceberg," said Joseph Fair, PhD, a co-author and vice president of Metabiota. "Identifying deadly unknown viruses, such as Bas-Congo virus, gives us a leg up in controlling future outbreaks."



    Yes let's make a concerted effort to send a bunch of globe trotting scientists to clearly identify all these new deadly yet geographically isolated viruses. I mean it's not like they could catch them themselves and bring them back to the most populated cities in the world, right!? That'd never happen!
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    Sep 30, 2012 9:35 PM GMT
    Maybe we should just put a huge wall around the entire African continent and ban all travels to/from that disease-ridden place. icon_twisted.gif
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    Sep 30, 2012 10:05 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidMaybe we should just put a huge wall around the entire African continent and ban all travels to/from that disease-ridden place. icon_twisted.gif



    ...Or Maybe we can open our eyes to the fact that Ebola/HIV are man-made viruses. Influenza didn't originate in Africa.

    Africa is the most genetically diverse continent on the planet, you are bound to find all types of mysterious shit there - cradle of Huemanity.
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    Sep 30, 2012 10:33 PM GMT
    IanJar said
    paulflexes saidMaybe we should just put a huge wall around the entire African continent and ban all travels to/from that disease-ridden place. icon_twisted.gif



    ...Or Maybe we can open our eyes to the fact that Ebola/HIV are man-made viruses. Influenza didn't originate in Africa.

    Africa is the most genetically diverse continent on the planet, you are bound to find all types of mysterious shit there - cradle of Huemanity.


    Saturationmanity?