In April, shortly after the World Health Organization announced that the Zaire Ebolavirus was responsible for a number of deaths in southern Guinea, an international team began the search for the animal origins of the epidemic. The team wanted to know whether there was a larger Ebolavirus outbreak happening in wildlife in the region and how the index case, a two-year-old boy in Meliandou, Guinea might have gotten infected and sparked the epidemic that has since spread into other areas of Guinea and then Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, the U.S, Spain and Mali, representing the largest ever recorded outbreak.
Tue, 2014-12-30 09:25
To address these questions, Dr. Fabian Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin assembled a large international interdisciplinary team consisting of virologists, veterinarians, ecologists, epidemiologists and an anthropologist. One member was Jan Gogarten, a doctoral student in Biology and Vanier graduate scholar at McGill.
We spoke with Gogarten about the resulting study, published this week in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, and his role in it.