World News – UA – Newly discovered virus suggests German measles could come from animals


Two newly discovered viruses, identified as related to the German measles-causing rubella virus, have been found in bats – suggesting that rubella originated in animals before infecting humans

Since German measles was first described in 1814, the origin of the disease and the virus that caused it has remained unclear as scientists have never identified a parent of the virus However, a team of scientists recently found two new species – one of which infected bats in Uganda while the other killed different animals at a zoo in Germany.

The new viruses could be the first parents discovered of the rubella virus The first, known as the Ruhugu virus, has infected healthy leaf-nosed cyclops bats, Hipposideros cyclops, in Uganda The other is the Rustrela virus found in marsupials as well as in a wild mouse near a German zoo

Researchers report that ruhugu and rustrela share a similar genomic architecture with rubella virus.They also noted that the amino acid sequences for four putative B cell epitopes – the antigen part, usually in viruses, which binds to immunoglobulin – among the three viral strains being « moderately to highly conserved » Similar similarities were found in two putative T cell epitopes in rubella and ruhugu capsid proteins

Based on these results, it is likely that a virus similar to these three viruses passed from animals to humans, evolving into what we now call the rubella virus The researchers noted that if none of the two recently discovered viruses have only been known to directly infect humans, the fact remains that a virus sharing similarities with these two species raises concerns There could be another relative, still unknown, who can cause an epidemic in humans

« We would be remiss not to be concerned, given what is going on in the world today, » said Tony Goldberg, epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and lead author of the study.

RELATED: 29% Similarity Between Coronavirus and Rubella Virus May Help MMR Vaccine Fight COVID-19: Study

Formally known as rubella, the disease also known as German measles or three-day measles was first described by German physicist Friedrich Hoffman in 1740 Although, it would first be noted as a condition separate from measles and scarlet fever by George de Maton in 1814 It got the name « German measles » from the fact that all the doctors who worked on the identification of the disease were german

Although it is a highly infectious disease, rubella is often mild for half of those infected.For others, it is characterized by rashes about two weeks after exposure to the virus, persisting until three days It can be accompanied by fever, sore throat and fatigue

For pregnant women, rubella is much more dangerous, increasing the risk of miscarriage, stillbirths, or children born with congenital rubella syndrome which manifests as problems with eyesight, hearing, as well as problems with the brain and heart

The rubella virus is usually transmitted by airborne droplets, spread when people with the disease sneeze or cough, according to the WHO

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Rubella, virus, research, measles, bats, zoonosis, uniformed services University of Health Sciences

News from around the world – UA – Recently discovered virus suggests that German measles could come from animals


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