The scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have just discovered that thanks to specific proteins, the Ebola virus would be able to survive for two years and a half in human sperm.
Ebola virus, discovered in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is responsible for high fevers and hemorrhages and is often fatal to humans.
From one human to another, this virus, which in its initial stage causes flu-like symptoms, including fever above 38 degrees Celsius, muscle weakness, and headaches, is transmitted by direct contact with the blood and body fluids of infected people, but also by indirect contact with their personal assets that might contain the virus, including towels, clothes, and so on.
By 2018, the Ebola virus is far from gone. Thus, during a couple of weeks at the end of May this year, 52 cases were recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo, out of which about 30 people lost their lives.
The Ebola virus can survive more than two years and a half in human sperm thanks to specific proteins
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, have just made a worrying discovery. Specifically, the Ebola virus is believed to be able to survive in human sperm for more than two years and a half thanks to the amyloid proteins in the semen that “help” the virus to infect other cells.
On the other hand, these proteins also play a significant role in HIV transmission.
“If we can modify the structure of amyloid proteins to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus, we may be able to better control the current epidemics in West Africa,” the American researchers explain.
Now, the researchers plan to examine whether the vaginal flora also permits the Ebola virus to survive. This study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.