CPH Post

Sci/Tech

Danish scientist part of groundbreaking Ebola research

Ongoing epidemic stemmed from one single source


The research team has discovered that the Ebola virus mutates quicker during an outbreak (Photo: Scanpix)

August 29, 2014
09:45

by CW


An international team that includes a Danish scientist is making progress in the battle against the ongoing Ebola outbreak that has claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people, mostly in western Africa, so far.

Kristian G Andersen, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University in the US, is part of a team which, via its co-operation with the health ministry in Sierra Leone, has sequenced the genomes of 99 Ebola viruses collected from 78 cases during the outbreak’s initial 24 days.

The researchers found there is proof that the epidemic stems from one single patient, who was infected by an animal – most probably by eating a fruit bat, a local delicacy in some western African countries – before going on to infect other humans.

READ MORE: Low risk of Ebola outbreak in Denmark

Speed of mutation
The team also uncovered the speed at which the virus mutates and discovered that it changes quicker during an outbreak. That means that a potential new vaccine could have less of an effect.

”It’s difficult to say precisely how long it takes before the virus mutates to a point where a vaccine no longer works,” Andersen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

“It could be a month, ten years or maybe never. The important thing is that we can begin to comprehend where, how and how fast the virus changes, so we might be able to see if it can have an effect on vaccines, therapy and diagnosis.”

READ MORE: Danish company developing Ebola vaccine

No human testing
Andersen went on to reveal there was a desperate need for vaccines and therapy, and that while there were many vaccines with potential, none had been tested on humans yet.

The researchers will publish their finding in the scientific journal Science today and hope that their data leads to the quick development of a vaccine.



Related stories



Latest Comments

#danishcraftsmanship

(Andreas Philip Andersen on December 21, 2014 13:27)

I had Danish citizenship and had to give it up at 21 for my Canadian...

(Tina Venema on December 21, 2014 12:52)

I'm sorry but your article lacks objectiveness. It is so coloured, and...

(Martin Madsen on December 21, 2014 12:01)

Yes, the huge influx of 3ed world immigrants, combined with increased loss of...

(Jens Rost on December 20, 2014 13:08)

Why use the education system when the welfare system is soooo much easier. ; )

(Alex DeGre?t on December 20, 2014 12:28)

Io l'ho provato, eccezionale!!

(Federico Lepra on December 20, 2014 12:06)

BMI is pure bullshit, favored mainly by insurance companies to deny, or...

(Alex DeGre?t on December 19, 2014 21:10)

What about the French?

(William Harvey on December 19, 2014 13:00)

I should tell my cow sister-in-law who hasn`t worked in 26 years.

(Jon Paris King on December 19, 2014 12:43)

Vivo en Argentina y nunca pude lograr la doble ciudadanía ya que mi padre...

(Patricia Thomassen on December 18, 2014 19:38)