Marburg and Ebola hemorrhagic fevers–pathogens, epidemiology and therapy
Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2014 Sep;37(9):324-30.
Abstract. Marburg and Ebola hemorrhagic fevers are severe, systemic viral diseases affecting humans and non-human primates. They are characterized by multiple symptoms such as hemorrhages, fever, headache, muscle and abdominal pain, chills, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Elevated liver-associated enzyme levels and coagulopathy are also associated with these diseases. Marburg and Ebola hemorrhagic fevers are caused by (Lake victoria) Marburg virus and different species of Ebola viruses, respectively. They are enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses and belong to the family of filoviridae. Case fatality rates of filovirus disease outbreaks are among the highest reported for any human pathogen, ranging from 25 to 90% or more.Outbreaks of Marburg and Ebola hemorrhagic fever occur in certain regions of equatorial Africa at irregular intervals. Since 2000, the number of outbreaks has increased. In 2014, the biggest outbreak of a filovirus-induced hemorrhagic fever that has been documented so far occurred from March to July 2014 in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. The outbreak was caused by a new variant of Zaire Ebola-Virus, affected more than 2600 people (stated 20 August) and was associated with case-fatality rates of up to 67% (Guinea). Treatment of Marburg and Ebola hemorrhagic fevers is symptomatic and supportive, licensed antiviral agents are currently not available. Recently, BCX4430, a promising synthetic adenosine analogue with high in vitro and in vivo activity against filoviruses and other RNA viruses, has been described. BCX4430 inhibits viral RNA polymerase activity and protects cynomolgus macaques from Marburg virus infection when administered as late as 48 hours after infection. Nucleic acid-based products, recombinant vaccines and antibodies appear to be less suitable for the treatment of Marburg and Ebola hemorrhagic fevers.