Updated 10 January 2019, 08:41
The Mengla virus discovered: the researchers found a virus hitherto unknown in Chinese fruit bats. This has a close relationship with the dangerous Ebola virus. Now the question arises: how dangerous is it to find?
Chinese researchers from the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan have discovered a new Filoviridae family virus in the liver of a flying rosette dog in the southwestern Chinese province of Yun. These include the Ebola virus.
The Mengla virus (from the name of the county from which the flying fox) has both genetic and parallel differences with the Ebola virus: Both genera infect cells using the same receptor protein, the so-called NPC1.
The virus has been known since December 2015, but scientists have now detected the genes of the pathogen. Their results have been published in the journal "Nature Microbiology". In it, they explain that the discovery could also be a completely new type of virus.
Mengla virus: how dangerous is it?
A disturbing challenge with the Ebola virus, researchers have already discovered: the Mengla virus is also a risk of transmission from species to species.
The laboratory has already tested cells of monkeys, hamsters, dogs and humans. The result: infection is possible. However, further studies are needed to determine the spread risk.
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