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Serological evidence of ebolavirus infection in bats, China

Junfa Yuan12, Yuji Zhang1, Jialu Li1, Yunzhi Zhang3, Lin-Fa Wang4 and Zhengli Shi1*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology-Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei, 430071, P R, China

2 Huazhong Agriculture University, Wuhan, Hubei, 430070, P R, China

3 Yunnan Institute of Endemic Diseases Control and Prevention, Dali, Yunnan, 671000, P R, China

4 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Livestock Industries, Geelong, Victoria, 3220, Australia

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:236  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-236

Published: 13 October 2012



The genus Ebolavirus of the family Filoviridae currently consists of five species. All species, with the exception of Reston ebolavirus, have been found in Africa and caused severe human diseases. Bats have been implicated as reservoirs for ebolavirus. Reston ebolavirus, discovered in the Philippines, is the only ebolavirus species identified in Asia to date. Whether this virus is prevalent in China is unknown.


In this study, we developed an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for ebolavirus using the recombinant nucleocapsid protein and performed sero-surveillance for the virus among Chinese bat populations. Our results revealed the presence of antibodies to ebolavirus in 32 of 843 bat sera samples and 10 of 16 were further confirmed by western blot analysis.


To our knowledge, this is the first report of any filovirus infection in China.

Ebolavirus; Antibody detection; Bats