The negative-sense, single-stranded RNA genome of a filovirus infection is around 19 kilobases in length, and it is contained inside a filamentous, enveloped particle. The beginning and end of each gene’s transcription are determined by rigidly conserved signals. The spikes on a virus are made from a single glycoprotein. The viral polymerase and four other structural proteins are all housed in the nucleocapsid along with the RNA.

Filoviruses are transcribed and replicated by the same polymerase in infected cells. Negative-sense RNA genome translation produces seven structural proteins. Ebola viruses utilize RNA editing and/or frameshifting (-1) to create a single glycosylated nonstructural protein. A complete, positive-sense antigenome is used as a blueprint to generate offspring genomes that are negative-sense. The plasma membrane is the site of particle maturation.


When viruses replicate in parenchymal cells, it leads to necrosis of visceral organs. However, there is no fatal organ damage. Platelet and endothelial cell dysfunction contribute to improper fluid distribution. In severe and deadly instances, shock syndrome seems to be mediated by the production of humoral components such as cytokines. Immunosuppression has been shown in monkeys that have contracted filovirus infection, suggesting that the glycoproteins of this virus include an immunosuppressive domain.

A number of anatomical observations are supported by clinical and biochemical data such as: 

  • significant liver involvement
  • kidney damage
  • alterations in the permeability of the vessels
  • initiation of the steps involved in the clotting cascade


Malaria and typhoid fever are the most common causes of severe, acute fever in tropical regions, making diagnosis difficult. Filovirus diagnosis involves eliminating other infectious diseases. Returning visitors, especially those who have traveled to Africa, may have had contact with sick people, wild monkeys, or both. Clusters of prodromal fever, hemorrhagic diatheses, and person-to-person transmission are highly diagnostic of viral hemorrhagic fever, and containment methods must be initiated.

Compared to patients with other types of viral hemorrhagic fever, filoviral hemorrhagic fever is characterized by more severe manifestations of the following:

  • Prostration
  • Lethargy
  • Wasting
  • Diarrhea


A reliable vaccination has not yet been developed. Isolating patients is advised in addition to early diagnosis. When possible, physicians and nursing personnel should wear HEPA-filtered respirators and use stringent barrier nursing procedures to protect themselves from airborne pathogens. Since there is currently no medication that specifically targets the virus, supportive care is the best option.

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