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Ebola: A speculative concept that could provide a direct avenue for the detection of an incipient outbreak.

Outbreak episodes correspond to periods of maximum fruit production during the rainy season. This is associated with: 1) dramatic seasonal changes in foraging behaviour in primates, bats, birds, etc 2) as well as large increases in insect biomass. Let's read our document!

Ebola: A speculative concept that could provide a direct avenue for the detection of an incipient outbreak. We invite you to read this document written by our CSO, Dr. François Iris. Our analysis, if correct, could provide a direct avenue for the detection of an incipient wave of Ebola outbreak. This document produced in 2008 was not updated. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information, feedbacks or questions. ABSTRACT Ebola epidemics are currently the cause of considerable concern. However, recurrent episodes (the first in record dating of June 1976) are often separated by intervals of many years without outbreak and very little is currently known of the mechanisms generating these patterns. As a result, an incipient wave of Ebola outbreak remains impossible to detect, the populations primarily concerned becoming aware of the danger only after identification of the first clinical cases. In an attempt to remedy this situation, we carried out, in 2008, a comprehensive analysis of the data then available. The results highlighted a complex climatology-driven interplay between ecosystems. Outbreak episodes correspond to periods of maximum fruit production during the rainy season. This is associated with: 1) dramatic seasonal changes in foraging behaviour in primates, bats, birds, etc 2) as well as large increases in insect biomass. Our analysis suggests that a ground-based omnivorous insect such as ants, induced to migrate by heavy rainfalls, could act as a reservoir for the maturation and transmission of the infective form of the virus. Ants will be frequently found on fruits and other sugar containing vegetation eaten by bats, apes and other wild life during these periods. Furthermore, in these environments, cadavers of dead animals (whether or not Ebola infected) are also partly disposed of by omnivorous insects such as ants. Thus, in years of heavy rainfalls, Ebola-carrying ants might be much more likely to transmit the virus to foraging populations than during years of moderate rainfalls in which ant migrations will be less extensive, thus accounting for the intervals of several years without outbreak. A large proportion of Ebola-infected animals will then succumb to the virus at locations that can be far remove from the infection site. Since the cadavers will then be partly disposed of by ants, this will close the cycle while spreading the infective potential to other ant colonies, thus accounting for a spatiotemporal pattern of outbreaks spreading at the rate of about 50 kilometers/year. Together with the characteristics of Ebola genetics suggested by our analysis, the above, if correct, could provide a direct avenue for the detection of an incipient wave of Ebola outbreak, thereby allowing timely implementation of protective steps. FULL TEXT: http://www.bmsystems.net/download/Ebola-a-speculative-concept-that-could-provide-a-direct-avenue-for-the-detection-of-an-incipient-outbreak-bmsystems05112014.pdf

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