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Complete genome of Ebola virus causing outbreak in Uganda released

Medical Letter on the CDC & FDA via NewsEdge Corporation :

2005 NOV 20 - ( -- Scientists have released the complete genome sequence of an Ebola virus (Sudan species) responsible for a 2000 outbreak of human disease in Uganda in a recent issue of Virus Research.

"The entire genomic RNA of the Gulu (Uganda 2000) strain of Ebola virus was sequenced and compared to the genomes of other filoviruses. This data represents the first comprehensive genetic analysis for a representative isolate of the Sudan species of Ebola virus. The genome organization of the Sudan species is nearly identical to that of the Zaire species, but the presence of a gene overlap (between GP and VP30 genes) and a longer trailer sequence distinguish it from that of the Reston species," researchers in the United States report.

"As has been observed with other filoviruses, stemloop structures were predicted to form at the 5' end of Ebola Sudan mRNA molecules, and the genomic RNA termini showed a high degree of sequence complimentarily," said Anthony Sanchez and Pierre E. Rollin at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Comparisons of the amino acid sequences of encoded gene products shows that there is a comparable level of identity or similarity between Ebola virus species, with Sudan and Zaire actually showing a slightly closer relationship to the Reston species than to one another."

"These comparisons also indicated that the VP24 is the most conserved Ebola virus protein (followed closely by the VP40 and L proteins), while the GP is the least conserved gene product," reported Sanchez and Rollin. "The most divergent regions were seen in the C-terminus of GP1 (mucin-like region) and within the C-terminal third of the nucleoprotein sequence."

Sanchez and Rollin published their study in Virus Research (Complete genome sequence of an Ebola virus (Sudan species) responsible for a 2000 outbreak of human disease in Uganda. Virus Res, 2005;113(1):16-25).

For additional information, contact Anthony Sanchez, Special Pathogens Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Building 15, Room SB611, Mail Stop G-14, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. E-mail: [email protected].

Publisher contact information for the journal Virus Research is: Elsevier Science BV, PO Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Keywords: Atlanta, Georgia, United States, Ebola Virus, Ebola Fever, Ebola Virus Epidemiology, Filovirus, Ebola Genomics and Genetics, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Outbreaks, Proteomics, Tropical Medicine, Virology.

This article was prepared by Medical Letter on the CDC & FDA editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2005, Medical Letter on the CDC & FDA via

<<Medical Letter on the CDC & FDA -- 11/22/05>>

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