Ebola virus can infect human reproductive organs: Study

By: |
New York | Updated: February 09, 2018 5:56 PM

Ebola virus can infect reproductive organs of humans, according to a study conducted on macaques.

ebola, ebola virus, human reproductive, human reproductive organs, infection in reproductive organsEbola virus can infect reproductive organs of humans, according to a study conducted on macaques. (Image: Reuters)

Ebola virus can infect reproductive organs of humans, according to a study conducted on macaques. Prior studies of survivors of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa have revealed sexual transmission of Ebola virus, and that viral RNA (Ebola virus genetic material) can persist in semen following recovery. While little is known about viral persistence in female reproductive tissues, pregnant women with Ebola virus disease have a maternal death rate of more than 80 per cent and a foetal death rate of nearly 100 per cent. Researchers from The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US infected four female and eight male macaques with the Makona variant of Ebola virus, the variant responsible for the recent West Africa outbreak. All the macaques succumbed to Ebola disease and were euthanized six to nine days after infection.

The scientists then took reproductive tissue samples from each macaque and analysed the samples for signs of Ebola virus infection, organ and tissue damage, and immune responses. They found widespread Ebola virus infection of reproductive organs with minimal tissue immune response or signs of disease. Based on the findings, published in The American Journal of Pathology, the researchers hypothesised that Ebola virus can persist in these tissues in human survivors, and that the virus may reach seminal fluid in men by infecting immune cells called tissue macrophages.

However, it is unclear if the detection of Ebola virus RNA in semen documented in human studies means that infectious virus is present. According to the scientists, additional research is needed to learn how Ebola virus persists in these sites, to determine if drugs and vaccines can cure or prevent such infections. They also need to understand the mechanisms of sexual transmission, including why it appears to occur only rarely in humans.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1India lags nations in fully vaccinating population
2Restaurants and eateries in Maharashtra can function till midnight: Govt
3Second wave of pandemic not receded yet, third wave feared post-Diwali: Maha health minister