Lloviu – a virus that needs attention

Have you ever heard about Lloviu virus? It is a filovirus that is closely related to Marburg and Ebola viruses and circulates in Schreiber’s bats (Miniopterus schreibersii) in Europe. About 100 million people live in the geographic range of the Schreiber’s bats. Until recently, Lloviu virus was just a viral sequence with incomplete genome ends. It was not possible to study this virus. We generated recombinant Lloviu virus and complemented the missing sequence with the homologous regions from Ebola and Marburg virus.  We show that Lloviu virus is able to infect human cells, including primary macrophages, hepatocytes and lung cells. Therapeutic antibodies against Ebola virus won’t stop Lloviu virus. Much work to do to be prepared for this one. Check out our recent work, including the first EM images ever of Lloviu virus:

Recombinant Lloviu virus as a tool to study viral replication and host responses

Our collaborator Dr. Gabor Kemenesi and his colleagues at the National Laboratory of Virology, Szentágothai Research Centre, University of Pécs, Hungary recently isolated infectious Lloviu virus from Schreiber’s bats in Hungary. They also found the virus in ectoparasites of the bats. Super interesting work.

Isolation of infectious Lloviu virus from Schreiber’s bats in Hungary