Ebola Outbreak in West Africa; Is Selenium Involved?
One of the current international public health emergencies is the outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD), requiring extraordinary response. The current outbreak in West Africa is the most dangerous since Ebola was first discovered on 26 August 1976. Till January 6th 2015, It resulted in 13,387 laboratory confirmed human cases and 8274 deaths. Ebola virus has 5 strains, 4 are pathogenic in humans while the 5th strain Ebola reston strain is not. The current outbreak is caused by Ebola most pathogenic strain, Ebola Zaire strain whose genome differs from that of Reston Ebola virus strain, by the existence of several open reading frames containing large numbers of UGA codons. These codons act as stop codons and in addition they may encode for Selenocysteine, the 21st aminoacid, which is essential for the formation of Selenoproteins. Selenoproteins are integral to the metabolism and have been linked to the progression of certain viral diseases. In this review, we discuss the relation between Selenium and the progression of the current EVD in Africa supported by geographical distribution of Se and genetic evidence.
KeywordsSelenium Selenoproteins Selenocysteine Ebola EVD Zaire EBOV Outbreak SeC Immunity
This paper was not funded by anyone or any institution.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors of this paper declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
- Biomedical and environmental sciences (2014). http://www.besjournal.com/Articles/Archive/2014/No8/201409/t20140904_104151.html. Accessed 31 Dec 2014
- Bunnell JE, Finkelman RB, Centeno JA, Selinus O (2007) Medical Geology: a globally emerging discipline. Geol Acta 5(3):273–281Google Scholar
- Caldwell KL (2011–2012) Zinc, copper and selenium serum serum multi-element ICP-DRC-MS. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/nhanes_11_12/CUSEZN_G_met_serum_elements.pdf
- Dietary reference intakes for vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids (2014). http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9810. Accessed 30 Nov 2014
- Ebola (2014) New challenges, new global response and responsibility—NEJM. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1409903. Accessed 31 Dec 2014
- Emergence of Zaire Ebola virus disease in Guinea—NEJM (2015a). http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1404505#t=article. Accessed 16 Jan 2015
- Emergence of Zaire Ebola virus disease in Guinea—NEJM (2015b). http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1404505#t=articleTop. Accessed 1 Jan 2015
- Erdman JW, Macdonald IA, Zeisel SH (eds) (2012) Present knowledge in nutrition. Wiley-Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Jacob W, Piot P (1976) In the. 573–574Google Scholar
- Johnson CC, Fordyce FM, Rayman MP (2010) Symposium on “Geographical and geological influences on nutrition”: factors controlling the distribution of selenium in the environment and their impact on health and nutrition. Proc Nutr Soc 69:119–132. doi: 10.1017/S0029665109991807 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Nutrition C For FS and a constituent updates—FDA issues proposed rule to add selenium to list of required nutrients for infant formulaGoogle Scholar
- Oldfield JE (1999) Selenium world atlas. Selenium-Tellurium Development Association, Grimbergen, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
- Ramoutar R, Brumaghim J (2010) Antioxidant and anticancer properties and mechanisms of inorganic selenium, oxo-sulfur, and oxo-selenium compounds 58:1–23Google Scholar
- Rowland J (2006) Chemicals evaluated for carcinogenic potential by the office of pesticide programs. http://www.fluoridealert.org/wp-content/pesticides/pesticides.cancer.potential.2006.pdf
- Stadlmayr B, Charrondiere UR, Addy P et al (2010) Composition of selected foods from West Africa. Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, p 13–14Google Scholar
- WHO/Ebola virus disease (1978a) Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Sudan, 1976. Report of a WHO/International Study Team. Bull World Health Organ 56:247–270Google Scholar
- WHO/Ebola virus disease (1978b) Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Zaire, 1976. Bull World Health Organ 56:271–293Google Scholar
- WHO/Ebola virus disease (2014) World health organization. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/. Accessed 31 Dec 2014