Ebola in Philippine Swine Raises Concerns


Recombinomics Commentary
December 12, 2008

As of Wednesday evening, Ebola Reston cases were confirmed in four farms in Luzon, the northern Philippines, after six out of 28 hogs tested positive for the virus.

Arthur Yap, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, allayed fears that the disease will be transferred to humans from infected hogs, Philippine TV network GMA News reported.

There has been no documented case on the virus being transmitted from hogs to humans, said the agriculture chief.

The above comments on Ebola transmission from pigs to humans brings up older stories associated with the swine outbreaks in Sichuan China.

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In 2005 there were widespread deaths associated with swine outbreaks, which were considered to be atypical Porcine Productive Respiratory Syndrome (PPRS), even though PPRS had not been associated with fatal human infections.

However, at the time boxun reports suggested the infections were due to an Ebola strain (SZ77) recombinant, which was one of many Ebola strains circulating in China.

Of further note is an 18 nt region of identity between Ebola Zaire and H5N1.

Sequence data on the Ebola isolated from swine in the Philippines (see map) would be useful.

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