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The World in Medicine
September 19, 2007

Marburg Virus Linked to Bats

JAMA. 2007;298(11):1268. doi:10.1001/jama.298.11.1268-b

An international team of researchers has found evidence suggesting that a common African fruit bat species may be a natural reservoir for Marburg virus (Towner JS et al. PLoS ONE. 2007;2[8]:e764. Available at

Although Marburg virus was discovered in 1967, the natural reservoir for this deadly virus has been a mystery. However, the possibility that bats might harbor the infection was raised by such findings as the discovery of a related filovirus (Ebola virus) in fruit bats in Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo and epidemiological evidence linking cases of Marburg hemorrhagic fever during a large outbreak in 2000 to a gold mine inhabited by large numbers of bats.

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