Gregory Thompson
UNH Biochemistry Major
ebola generic picture.jpg

Zaire ebolavirus is a single-stranded negative sense RNA virus with about 19,000 nucleotides in its genome. Ebola virus is a highly infectious disease that causes fatally high fever, unexplained hemorrhages and diarrhea. Transmission of the virus is mostly done by fluid exchanges from an infected person, but non-human infections are usually the initial cause of an outbreak (Weingartlet al. 2012). The outbreak in West Africa was tragic, but there was a significant opportunity for research in epidemiology, genomics and disaster management. Ebola virus is one of four viruses that infect human hosts from the genus Ebolavirus. Viral behavior and trends in genomic variability were almost completely unknown, before the events in West Africa. RNA deep sequencing can paint a picture for a clinic to responsd effectively against a viral threat (Matrangaet al. 2016). These pictures provide the means to create predictive models and protein-protein interactions that can aid in the epidemic management and research (Chiappelliet al. 2015). The Nigerian outbreak in West Africa was well contained and well documented, in that sense they were fortunate. As a result the genetic and contact tracing data are available. Viral sequencing data can be used to predict transmission patterns (Foralinet al. 2016). Research from the Nigerian outbreak show the transmission lineage using phylogenetic trees. With a certain degree of confidence, they had developed the path of transmission and had a complete account of the infected population. The ebolavirus encodes for nine major proteins including nucleoprotein, glycoprotein, soluble glycoprotein, small soluble glycoprotein, RNA polymerase and four structural viral proteins VP24, VP30, VP35 and VP40 (Pappalardoet al. 2016). These proteins were modeled in silico using MEGA7, an integrated tool for conducting automatic sequence alignment and inference of phylogenetic trees. These studies have unveiled much about the genome of the Ebola virus, but the application of genomic research still has limitations. Additional research for the pathogenicity of the virus may yield more accurate forecasting and management of an epidemic. This study is a review and contains supportive material.


•Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa occurred over a period between 2013 and 2016.

•Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were the greatest countries burdened by the outbreak

•There were a total of 28,639 cases of Ebola virus and 11,316 deaths from the outbreak (Folarin et al. 2016).

•There are four members of the virus that are pathogenic to humans under the genus Ebolavirus. These viruses are Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan virus, Bundibugyo virus, and Tai forestvirus (Pappalardoet al. 2016).

•Reston virus is the fifth known member that is non-pathogenic to humans (Weingartl et al. 2012).


Primary Research
Data and Results