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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2006 Jul;75(1):9-15.

Geographic potential for outbreaks of Marburg hemorrhagic fever.

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  • 1Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66047, USA.


Marburg virus represents one of the least well-known of the hemorrhagic fever-causing viruses worldwide; in particular, its geographic potential in Africa remains quite mysterious. Ecologic niche modeling was used to explore the geographic and ecologic potential of Marburg virus in Africa. Model results permitted a reinterpretation of the geographic point of infection in the initiation of the 1975 cases in Zimbabwe, and also anticipated the potential for cases in Angola, where a large outbreak recently (2004-2005) occurred. The geographic potential for additional outbreaks is outlined, including in several countries in which the virus is not known. Overall, results demonstrate that ecologic niche modeling can be a powerful tool in understanding geographic distributions of species and other biologic phenomena such as zoonotic disease transmission from natural reservoir populations.

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