11 Mar 2017

Ebola ID

Filipe Pereira and  João Carneiro, two CIIMAR researchers developed a free online database to facilitate the design of accurate diagnostic methods and therapeutic approaches for the Ebola virus.

"The EbolaID is the first database combining information from the Ebola genetic diversity with oligonucleotides (small molecules of DNA or RNA) used in the treatment and detection of the virus," reveal Filipe Pereira.

The EbolaID platform described in a PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases publication allows the comparison of several oligonucleotides used for detecting the virus or inhibiting its replication. With this new tool, researchers and pharmaceutical companies can now more easily develop new approaches for the detection and/or treatment of the Ebola virus.

The website also identifies the most conserved regions of the Ebola genome by comparing more than 1,500 genomes from the different Ebola outbreaks that since 1976 have killed thousands of people in Africa. Such conserved genomic regions are the most suitable for the design of novel methods to combat future Ebola epidemics. The constant mutations in the genome of the virus can interfere with the action of new diagnostic methods, so it was fundamental to identify the genomic regions where they are less likely to arise. 

Credit: CDC/ NIAID