★One Health Relay Report #8★
Profile #8: Dr. Ayato TAKADA, Professor
Division of Global Epidemiology,
Research Center for Zoonosis Control
Filovirus ecology and control strategy
Ebola virus and Marburg virus are members of the filovirus family and cause severe hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola and Marburg virus diseases) in humans and nonhuman primates. There have been sporadic reports of the outbreaks of these filovirus diseases in African countries.
For some time after the discovery, filoviruses used to be considered unique to Africa. However, the confirmed presence of filoviruses in Europe and Asia and the detection of filovirus genomes and virus-specific antibodies in animals in areas with no previous reports of outbreaks of filovirus infections suggest that unknown filoviruses may exist in a wider area, including Asia.
Since bats are the most likely natural hosts for filoviruses, we are currently conducting field studies focusing on bats and investigating their infection with filoviruses by detecting viral genomes and specific antibodies in Africa.
Following the two large outbreaks of Ebola virus disease in West Africa during 2013-2016 and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during 2018-2019, research and development into prevention, treatment and diagnostic methods were accelerated and unapproved vaccines and therapeutic agents were tested for clinical trials. Rapid diagnosis test kits we developed were used during the outbreak in DRC, contributing to the control of infection.
Our studies will be continued to establish strategies to prevent human society from the virus invasion and to implement appropriate containment measures through early diagnosis.
Sampling survey in Zambia
Originally developed rapid diagnosis kit for Ebola virus disease