Posted on 27TH FEB 2017
tagged Ebola, Worldwide

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

In this update:
Cameroon: bushmeat
Sierra Leone: healthcare
Hand washing
Pediatric case definition

21 Feb 2017 Cameroon: Bushmeat trade tests Cameroon's Ebola prevention
[In a country where hunting wildlife for food is a centuries-old practice, the association with Ebola challenges habits. The demand and supply of bushmeat has held steady in Cameroon and throughout the south of Cameroon, despite health officials warning for about 2 years now that bushmeat trade and consumption increases the risk of an Ebola outbreak. In 2014, as the deadliest Ebola epidemic spread through 4 West African countries, including neighboring Nigeria, authorities in Cameroon closed the borders and began a massive campaign to shut out the disease. No cases were reported in Cameroon.
But forest towns -- with their teeming fruit bat and wildlife populations, a huge appetite for bushmeat, and porous borders -- lie at the heart of what officials describe as a "potential hotbed" of Ebola.
When fruit bats, which are believed to be the natural hosts of the Ebola virus, infect other wildlife, humans can pick up the virus from the secretions, blood or other bodily fluids of affected animals, warn health officials and organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The rampant consumption, handling and trade in game is easily the biggest threat to the Ebola prevention campaign led by the government and international partners like UNICEF, WHO and USAID in Cameroon, according to Dr Anicet Ntoude II, head of the regional disease and epidemics control service.]

20 Feb 2017 Sierra Leone: Rebuilding health care in the shadow of Ebola
[Sierra Leone, a low-income country, was recovering from the effects of a civil war when Ebola virus [Ebola virus disease] erupted in 2014. The disease decimated communities and devastated the country's already fragile health infrastructure.
The epidemic in West Africa threw a harsh spotlight on the importance of strong health systems to tackle emergencies and improve global security by preventing future disease outbreaks. Countries with stronger systems -- like Nigeria and Senegal -- quickly contained Ebola. But in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, poor health services, a shortage of health care workers, lack of roads, and high illiteracy combined to prevent an adequate response to the crisis, which claimed 11 300 lives. Basic health services, including treatment and prevention for HIV [human immunodeficiency virus disease] and TB [_Mycobacterium tuberculosis_ disease] and malaria [_Plasmodium falciparum_ disease], ground to a halt.
Ebola [Ebola virus disease (EVD)] also terrified the world with its speed and virulence. Sierra Leone hopes the experience of living through the epidemic can be used to prevent another outbreak by rebuilding and strengthening its health systems. The Global Fund and partners have joined forces to help Sierra Leone train health workers, improve diagnostics and supply chains, and increase awareness through community work.]

23 Feb 2017 Handwashing and Ebola virus disease outbreaks: A randomized comparison of soap, hand sanitizer, and 0.05% chlorine solutions on the inactivation and removal of model organisms Phi6 and _E. coli_ from hands and persistence in rinse water
Wolfe M.K., Gallandat K., Daniels K, et al. (23 Feb 2017). Handwashing and Ebola virus disease outbreaks: A randomized comparison of soap, hand sanitizer, and 0.05percent chlorine solutions on the inactivation and removal of model organisms Phi6 and E. coli from hands and persistence in rinse water. PlosOne. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172734
To prevent Ebola transmission, frequent handwashing is recommended in Ebola Treatment Units and communities. However, little is known about which handwashing protocol is most efficacious. We evaluated 6 handwashing protocols (soap and water, alcohol-based hand sanitizer (ABHS), and 0.05percent sodium dichloroisocyanurate, high-test hypochlorite, and stabilized and non-stabilized sodium hypochlorite solutions) for 1) efficacy of handwashing on the removal and inactivation of non-pathogenic model organisms and, 2) persistence of organisms in rinse water. Model organisms _E. coli_ and bacteriophage Phi6 were used to evaluate handwashing with and without organic load added to simulate bodily fluids. ... Chlorine-based methods may offer a benefit of reducing persistence in rinse water. We recommend responders use the most practical handwashing method to ensure hand hygiene in Ebola contexts, considering the potential benefit of chlorine-based methods in rinse water persistence.]

24 Feb 2017: Refining the paediatric Ebola case definition: a study of children in Sierra Leone with suspected Ebola virus disease
[Citation. Fitzgerald F., Wing K., Naveed A., et al. (23 February 2017.) Refining the paediatric Ebola case definition: a study of children in Sierra Leone with suspected Ebola virus disease. The Lancet, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30415-4
The case definition for suspected Ebola virus disease is broad, so many negative children are isolated for testing, risking nosocomial infection. We collected data on children [aged less than 13 years] admitted to Ebola holding units in Sierra Leone to refine the case definition and describe outcomes of admitted children. ...-more
Contact history, fever, conjunctivitis, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea are key characteristics for diagnosis of paediatric Ebola virus disease. The case definitions developed can be used flexibly--for example, for triage into risk categories to reduce risk of nosocomial infection.]

26 Feb 2017: Nucleoprotein C-terminal domain from the Ebola and Marburg viruses
[Citation. Baker L.E., Ellena J.F., Handing K.B., et al. (2016). Nucleoprotein C-terminal domain from the Ebola and Marburg viruses. Acta Cryst (2016). D72, 49-58
Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus belong to a virus family called Filoviridae and can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans. The outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa demonstrates the grave threat that these viruses pose globally to human health. While the EVD outbreak is slowly losing momentum, it is still unprecedented, resulting in over 23 000 cases and more than 9000 deaths by late 2015.
Until recently, the nucleoprotein was one of 2 proteins encoded by the Ebolavirus genome that have not yet had their structures characterized. Since this protein is critical for the assembly and replication of the virus, it is recognized as a suitable drug target. Recently a group of scientists [Baker et al. (2016). Acta Cryst. D72, 49-58; doi: 10.1107/S2059798315021439] have shown that the homologous C-terminal domains of NP from 2 related pathogenic species of Ebolavirus, Taï Forest and Bundibugyo, have structures that are highly similar to that of a Zaire variant, in spite of differences in the amino-acid sequence. Interestingly, the related NPCt domain from MARV has a structure that is significantly different from the Ebolavirus consensus structure.
Summary. The Filoviridae family of negative-sense, single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses is comprised of 2 species of Marburgvirus (MARV and RAVV) and five species of Ebolavirus, i.e. Zaire (EBOV), Reston (RESTV), Sudan (SUDV), Taï Forest (TAFV) and Bundibugyo (BDBV). In each of these viruses the ssRNA encodes 7 distinct proteins. One of them, the nucleoprotein (NP), is the most abundant viral protein in the infected cell and within the viral nucleocapsid. It is tightly associated with the viral RNA in the nucleocapsid, and during the lifecycle of the virus is essential for transcription, RNA replication, genome packaging and nucleocapsid assembly prior to membrane encapsulation. The structure of the unique C-terminal globular domain of the NP from EBOV has recently been determined and shown to be structurally unrelated to any other known protein [Dziubanska et al. (2014), Acta Cryst. D70, 2420-2429]. In this paper, a study of the C-terminal domains from the NP from the remaining 4 species of Ebolavirus, as well as from the MARV strain of Marburgvirus, is reported. As expected, the crystal structures of the BDBV and TAFV proteins show high structural similarity to that from EBOV, while the MARV protein behaves like a molten globule with a core residual structure that is significantly different from that of the EBOV protein.]

22 Feb 2017: Mark Zuckerberg gives USD 50 million to battle Zika, Ebola, other diseases
The Chan Zuckerberg bio hub is a research center connected to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative under the Chan Zuckerberg Science program. The bio hub aims to invent the future of life sciences research. Hence, it recently granted USD 50 million to around 47 scientists. These scientists will help discover groundbreaking new treatments to combat ailments that plague humans. The funding is unrestricted. It will allow the scientists to pursue risky projects and come up with new tools and techniques to realize the Biohub's vision.]

[Compiled by: Celeste Whitlow ]

Communicated by:

[A map showing the distribution of EVD cases as of 27 Mar 2016 can be seen at http://apps.who.int/ebola/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/sitrep_ca....

ProMED HealthMaps:
Liberia http://healthmap.org/promed/p/54
Guinea http://healthmap.org/promed/p/45
Sierra Leone http://healthmap.org/promed/p/46]

See Also
Ebola update (08): news, research, vaccine 20170219.4850524
Ebola update (07): research, economy 20170213.4836546
Ebola update (06): research, treatment, funding 20170206.4819835
Ebola update (05): news, vaccine, funding, documentary films 20170129.4801064
Ebola update (04): research 20170123.4786222
Ebola update (03): news, research 20170115.4767977
Ebola update (02): news, research, vaccine, comment 20170108.4750411
Ebola update (01): News, research, vaccine 20170103.4738060
Ebola update (72): vaccine, research, NGO, media 20161226.4724859
Ebola update (71): research, economy 20161218.4706276
Ebola update (70): news, research, economy, funding 20161211.4690740
Ebola update (69): news, NGO, research, economy, funding, vaccine 20161204.4675615
Ebola update (68): news, economy 20161127.4657148
Ebola update (67): news, research, funding 20161120.4642402
Ebola update (66): news, research, funding, economy 20161115.4629793
Ebola update (65): news, research, commentary, economy, funding, vaccine 20161106.4609611
Ebola update (64): news, research 20161030.4595759
Ebola update (63): news, research 20161023.4579436
Ebola update (62): news, research, treatment, funding 20161017.4564066
Ebola update (61): news, funding, economy 20161009.4547627
Ebola update (60): news, research, economy 20161002.4531285
Ebola update (59): news, research, funding 20160925.4514591
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Ebola update (56): news, vaccine, research 20160904.4465145
Ebola update (55): research, funding 20160828.4446844
Ebola update (54): rapid test recall, nurse, research 20160821.4431433
Ebola update (53): Guinea, research 20160814.4415032
Ebola update (52): funding, research 20160808.4400521
Ebola update (51): funding, research, miscellaneous 20160731.4383179
Ebola update (50): Liberia, Sierra Leone, research 20160724.4366266
Ebola update (49): Sierra Leone, research, history 20160717.4350351
Ebola update (48): CDC, research, funding, economy 20160710.4336146
Ebola update (47): Liberia, US preparedness, funding, research 20160703.4323924
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Ebola update (35): vaccine, comment 20160418.4167038
Ebola update (34): Guinea, Liberia, comment, vaccine funding 20160417.4165862
Ebola update (33): Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, research, funding, vaccine 20160413.4158203
Ebola update (32): Liberia, Guinea, support 20160410.4150454
Ebola update (31): Liberia, Guinea re-emergence, research, funding 20160406.4142990
Ebola update (30): Liberia re-emergence, Uganda NOT, RFI 20160404.4136987
Ebola update (29): Liberia re-emergence, Guinea contacts, news, RFI 20160402.4134878
Ebola update (28): news, research, vaccine 20160330.4128527
Ebola update (27): Ebola Reston virulence, Africa suspicious deaths RFI, news 20160327.4121931
Ebola update (26): Guinea flare-up, Liberia 20160324.4114807
Ebola update (25): Guinea flare-up, Liberia, Sierra Leone, research 20160320.4107350
Ebola update (24): Guinea, confirmed 20160317.4101955
Ebola update (23): comment, pregnant women, news, research 20160316.4098040
Ebola update (22): long-term sequelae, news, research 20160313.4090091
Ebola update (21): Sierra Leone, herd immunity, possible new drug 20160310.4081498