Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
A recently discovered species of the ebolavirus, the Bombali virus, has been identified in bats in Kenya, suggesting it may be more widespread than previously thought.
The Bombali virus, which is not currently known to infect humans, has been identified in the organs and tissues of an Angolan free-tailed bat captured in the Taita Hills in south-eastern Kenya. This is the same species of bat the virus was originally identified in last year; however, the initial identification was in Sierra Leone, over 3,400 miles west. This marks the first time any ebolavirus has been found in wildlife on the east coast of Africa.
Author Kristian Forbes (University of Helsinki, Finland) commented: “This particular virus is known from the west coast of Africa, and now we are placing it on the opposite side. It could conceivably be everywhere in between as well, which is a whole lot of countries.”