this article is about the species zaire ebolavirus. for the genus, see ebolavirus. for the disease, see ebola virus disease. for other uses, see ebola (disambiguation).
species of virus affecting humans and animals
colorized scanning electron micrograph of ebola virus particles (green) found both as extracellular particles and budding particles from a chronically infected african green monkey kidney cell (blue); 20,000x magnification
zaire ebolavirus, more commonly known as ebola virus (ɪ-/; ebov), is one of six known species within the genusebolavirus. four of the six known ebolaviruses, including ebov, cause a severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans and other mammals, known as ebola virus disease (evd). ebola virus has caused the majority of human deaths from evd, and was the cause of the 2013–2016 epidemic in western africa, which resulted in at least 28,646 suspected cases and 11,323 confirmed deaths.
ebola virus and its genus were both originally named for zaire (now the democratic republic of the congo), the country where it was first described, and was at first suspected to be a new "strain" of the closely related marburg virus. the virus was renamed "ebola virus" in 2010 to avoid confusion. ebola virus is the single member of the specieszaire ebolavirus, which is the type species for the genus ebolavirus, familyfiloviridae, ordermononegavirales. the members of the species are called zaire ebolaviruses. the natural reservoir of ebola virus is believed to be bats, particularly fruit bats, and it is primarily transmitted between humans and from animals to humans through body fluids.
the ebov genome is a single-stranded rna approximately 19,000 nucleotides long. it encodes seven structural proteins: nucleoprotein (np), polymerase cofactor (vp35), (vp40), gp, transcription activator (vp30), vp24, and rna-dependent rna polymerase (l).
because of its high mortality rate (up to 83 to 90 percent), ebov is also listed as a select agent, world health organization risk group 4 pathogen (requiring biosafety level 4-equivalent containment), a us national institutes of health/national institute of allergy and infectious diseases category a priority pathogen, us cdc centers for disease control and preventioncategory a bioterrorism agent, and a biological agent for export control by the australia group.
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles (green) found both as extracellular particles and budding particles from a chronically infected African Green Monkey Kidney cell (blue); 20,000x magnification