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Folia Med Cracov. 2014;54(3):57-65.

General introduction into the Ebola virus biology and disease.

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Department of Virology, Chair of Microbiology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland.


Epidemic of Ebola hemorrhagic fever which appeared in the countries of West Africa in 2014, is the largest outbreak which occurred so far. The virus causing this epidemic, Zaire Ebolavirus (ZEBOV), along with four other species of Ebolaviruses is classified to the genus Ebolavirus in the family Filoviridae. ZEBOV is one of the most virulent pathogens among the viral haemorrhagic fevers, and case fatality rates up to 90% have been reported. Mortality is the result of multi-organ failure and severe bleeding complications. The aim of this review is to present the general characteristics of the virus and its biological properties, pathogenicity and epidemiology, with a focus on laboratory methods used in the diagnosis of these infections.


Ebola hemorrhagic fever diagnosis; Ebola virus pathogenicity and epidemiology; Ebola virus properties and structure; taxonomy

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