First Ebola-Like Virus Native to Europe Discovered

A team of international researchers has discovered a new Ebola-like virus — Lloviu virus — in bats from northern Spain. Lloviu virus is the first known filovirus native to Europe, they report in a study published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

The study was a collaboration among scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) in Spain, Roche Life Sciences, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe, Grupo Asturiano para el Estudio y Conservación de los Murciélagos, Consejo Suerior de Investigaciones Científicas and the Complutense University in Spain.

Filoviruses, which include well-known viruses like Ebola and Marburg, are among the deadliest pathogens in humans and non-human primates, and are generally found in East Africa and the Philippines. The findings thus expand the natural geographical distribution of filoviruses.

"The study is an opportunity to advance the knowledge of filoviruses’ natural cycle," said Ana Negredo, one of the first authors of the study.

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