Ebola Viruses


A small group of exotic and mysterious viral agents that cause a severe haemorrhagic disease in human and/or nonhuman primates.

Keywords: Ebola virus; filovirus; haemorrhagic fever; ribonucleic acid

Figure 1.

Ebola virus (Zaire species) genomic RNA. Coding regions for seven linearly arranged genes are shown as hatched boxes. The scale at the bottom of the figure indicates units of sequence length numbered in kilobases. IR, intergenic region.

Figure 2.

Organization and expression of the glycoprotein genes of Ebola viruses, showing the production of the secreted SGP homodimer as the primary gene product from an unedited transcript, and the structural GP trimer through a transcriptional editing event (single adenosine insertion).



Sanchez A, Kiley MP, Holloway BP and Auperin DD (1993) Sequence analysis of the Ebola virus genome: organization, genetic elements, and comparison with the genome of Marburg virus. Virus Research 29: 215–240.

Sanchez A, Trappier S, Mahy BWJ, Peters CJ and Nichol ST (1996) The virion glycoproteins of Ebola viruses are encoded in two reading frames and are expressed through transcriptional editing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 93: 3602–3607.

Sanchez A, Yang Z‐Y, Xu L et al. (1998) Biochemical analysis of the secreted and virion glycoproteins of Ebola virus. Journal of Virology 72: 6442–6447.

Volchkov VE, Feldmann H, Volchkova VA, and Klenk H‐D (1998) Processing of the Ebola virus glycoprotein by the proprotein convertase furin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 95: 5762–5767.

Weissenhorn W, Calder LJ, Wharton SA, Skehel JJ and Wiley DC (1998) The central structural feature of the membrane fusion protein subunit from the Ebola virus glycoprotein is a long triple‐stranded coiled coil. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 95: 6032–6036.

Wool‐Lewis RJ and Bates P (1998) Characterization of Ebola virus entry using pseudotyped viruses: identification of receptor‐deficient cell lines. Journal of Virology 72: 3155–3160.

Xu L, Sanchez A, Yang Z‐Y, Nabel EG, Nichol ST and Nabel GJ (1997) Genetic immunization for Ebola virus infection. Nature Medicine 4: 37–42.

Yang Z‐Y, Delgado R, Xu L et al. (1998) Distinct cellular interactions of secreted and transmembrane Ebola virus glycoproteins. Science 279: 1034–1037.

Further Reading

Feldmann H, Sanchez A and Klenk H‐D (1998) Filoviruses. In: Collier L et al. (eds) Topley & Wilson's Microbiology and Microbial Infections, 9th edn, vol. 1, pp. 651–664. London: Arnold.

Peters CJ, Sanchez A, Rollin PE, Ksiazek TG and Murphy FA (1996) Filoviridae: Marburg and Ebola viruses. In: Fields BN, Knipe DM, Howley PM et al. (eds) Fields Virology, 3rd edn, pp. 1161–1176. Philadelphia: Lippincott‐Raven.

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How to Cite close
Sanchez, Anthony(Jul 2003) Ebola Viruses. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001019]