Zaire ebolavirus

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Higher order taxa

Group: Group V ((-)ssRNA) Order; Mononegavirales Family; Filoviridae Genus; ebolavirus Species; Zaire


NCBI Taxonomy: [1]

Zaire ebolavirus

Description and significance

The appearance of this negative sense single stranded RNA (nonsegmented) virus is filamentous in structure. This virus was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is a species of the Genus ebolavirus. The Genus ebolavirus contains five different species. The five species are: Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV), Reston ebolavirs (REBOV), Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BEBOV), Ivory Coast ebolavirus (CIEBOV), and Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV). They were all discovered around 1976 with only one strain that is not pathegenic in humans which is the Reston ebolavirus. The filoviruses can cause up to a 90% mortality rate in humans as well. The virus is not considered to be living due to the fact that without a host the virus will die, although this topic is highly controversial.

Genome structure

The complete genome is 18,959 base pairs which makes up a linear strand of RNA. This is a single stranded, nonfragmented, negative sense RNA, which resides in Group V of the Baltimore classifcation system. This class of viruses needs a RNA-dependent RNA polymerase to transcribe the negative sense strand in to a positive sense strand. This can only be conducted by a viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.

Cell structure and metabolism

Interesting features of cell structure; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.


Habitat; symbiosis; contributions to the environment.

Zaire Ebolavirus RNA has been discovered in natural rivers that run though out Africa. It has been found within the cells of rodents and shrews that occupy niches in forest areas. This proposes that a reservoirs run through Central African Republic where the water is consumed and then absorbed by the rodent's organ tissues. It has started a recent epidemic in the Republic of Congo, originally called Zaire, which has lead to a sudden death in mammals and humans. This zoonotic pathogen can be transmitted from animals to other uninfected animals and jump to invade humans. Zaire ebolavirus is a parasite to humans; therefore, the symbiosis is a parasitism relationship. The virus benefits and the host is negatively impacted during their interaction.


How does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.

Current Research

Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required

Cool Factor

Describe something you fing "cool" about this microbe.


NCBI Taxonomy Zaire ebolavirus

National Institutes of Health. "Botulinum Neurotoxin, B. Anthracis and Variola Virus" 'National Academies Press'. 2010

Volchkov,V.E., Volchkova,V.A., Chepurnov,A.A., Blinov,V.M., Dolnik,O., Netesov,S.V. and Feldmann,H. "'Zaire ebolavirus', 'Characterization of the L gene and 5' trailer region of Ebola virus'". 'Journal of General Virology'. 1999. Volume 80. p.355-362

[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.

Edited by student of Iris Keren