Medical Microbiology and Immunology

, Volume 181, Issue 1, pp 43–55 | Cite as

Evidence for occurrence of filovirus antibodies in humans and imported monkeys: do subclinical filovirus infections occur worldwide?

  • S. Becker
  • H. Feldmann
  • C. Will
  • W. Slenczka
Original Investigations


In the present serologocal study 120 monkey sera from different species originating from the Philippines, China, Uganda and undetermined sources and several groups of human sera comprising a total of 1288 specimens from people living in Germany were examined for the presence of antibodies directed against filoviruses (Marburg virus, strain Musoke/Ebola virus, subtype Zaire, strain Mayinga/Reston virus). Sera were screened using a filovirus-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). ELISA-positive sera were then confirmed by the indirect immunofluorescence technique, Western blot technique, and a blocking assay, and declared positive when at least one cornfirmation test was reactive. Altogether 43.3% of the monkey sera and 6.9% of the human sera reacted positively with at least one of the three different filovirus antigens. The blocking assays show that antibodies, detected in the sera, are directed to specific filovirus antigens and not caused by antigenic cross-reactivity with hitherto unknown agents. Data presented in this report suggest that subclinical filovirus infections may also occur in humans and in subhuman primates. They further suggest that filoviruses are not restricted to the African continent.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Becker
    • 1
  • H. Feldmann
    • 1
  • C. Will
    • 1
  • W. Slenczka
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Virologie, Philipps-UniversitätMarburgGermany

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