Biology:Sudan virus

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Sudan virus (SUDV)
Virus classification
Group V ((−)ssRNA)

Sudan virus (SUDV) is one of five known viruses within the genus Ebolavirus and causes Ebola virus disease (EVD) in humans and other primates; it is the sole member of the species Sudan ebolavirus. SUDV is a Select Agent, World Health Organization Risk Group 4 Pathogen (requiring Biosafety Level 4-equivalent containment), National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Category A Priority Pathogen, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category A Bioterrorism Agent, and listed as a Biological Agent for Export Control by the Australia Group.

The first known outbreak of EVD occurred due to Sudan virus in South Sudan between June and November 1976, infecting 284 people and killing 151, with the first identifiable case on 27 June 1976.[1][2][3]

Use of term

Sudan virus (abbreviated SUDV) was first described in 1977.[4] It is the single member of the species Sudan ebolavirus, which is included into the genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae, order Mononegavirales.[5] The name Sudan virus is derived from South Sudan (where it was first discovered before South Sudan seceded from Sudan[6]) and the taxonomic suffix virus. According to the rules for taxon naming established by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), the name Sudan virus is always to be capitalized, but is never italicized, and may be abbreviated (with SUDV being the official abbreviation).

Previous designations

Sudan virus was first introduced as a new "strain" of Ebola virus in 1977.[4] Sudan virus was described as "Ebola haemorrhagic fever" in a 1978 WHO report describing the 1976 Sudan outbreak.[7] In 2000, it received the designation Sudan Ebola virus[8][9] and in 2002 the name was changed to Sudan ebolavirus.[10][11] Previous abbreviations for the virus were EBOV-S (for Ebola virus Sudan) and most recently SEBOV (for Sudan Ebola virus or Sudan ebolavirus). The virus received its final designation in 2010, when it was renamed Sudan virus (SUDV).[5]

Virus inclusion criteria

A virus of the species Sudan ebolavirus is a Sudan virus (SUDV) if it has the properties of Sudan ebolaviruses and if its genome diverges from that of the prototype Sudan virus, Sudan virus variant Boniface (SUDV/Bon), by ≤10% at the nucleotide level.[5]


SUDV is one of four ebolaviruses that causes Ebola virus disease (EVD) in humans (in the literature also often referred to as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, EHF). EVD due to SUDV infection cannot be differentiated from EVD caused by other ebolaviruses by clinical observation alone, which is why the clinical presentation and pathology of infections by all ebolaviruses is presented together on a separate page (see Ebola virus disease). In the past, SUDV has caused the following EVD outbreaks:

Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks due to Sudan virus (SUDV) infection
Year Geographic location Human cases/deaths (case-fatality rate)
1976 Juba, Maridi, Nzara, and Tembura, South Sudan 284/151 (53%)
1979 Nzara, South Sudan 34/22 (65%)
2000–2001 Gulu, Mbarara, and Masindi Districts, Uganda 425/224 (53%)
2004 Yambio County, South Sudan 17/7 (41%)
2011 Luweero District, Uganda 1/1 (100%)
2014 Equateur, Congo [12] 0/1 * two strains reported, one Sudan and one Sudan/Zaire Hybrid to 24/08/2014(0%)


The ecology of SUDV is currently unclear and no reservoir host has yet been identified. Therefore, it remains unclear how SUDV was repeatedly introduced into human populations. Bats are suspected to harbor the virus because infectious Marburg virus (MARV), a distantly related filovirus, has been isolated from bats,[13] and because traces (but no infectious particles) of the more closely related Ebola virus (EBOV) were found in bats as well.[14]

Molecular Biology

SUDV is basically uncharacterized on a molecular level. However, its genomic sequence, and with it the genomic organization and the conservation of individual open reading frames, is similar to that of the other four known ebolaviruses. It is therefore currently assumed that the knowledge obtained for EBOV can be extrapolated to SUDV and that all SUDV proteins behave analogous to those of EBOV.


  1. "Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Sudan, 1976" (pdf). Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. 
  2. Feldmann, H.; Geisbert, T. W. (2011). "Ebola haemorrhagic fever". The Lancet 377 (9768): 849–862. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60667-8. PMID 21084112. 
  3. "Current ebola vaccines". Expert Opin Biol Ther 12 (7): 859–72. July 2012. doi:10.1517/14712598.2012.685152. PMID 22559078. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bowen, E. T. W.; Lloyd, G.; Harris, W. J.; Platt, G. S.; Baskerville, A.; Vella, E. E. (1977). "Viral haemorrhagic fever in southern Sudan and northern Zaire, Preliminary studies on the aetiological agent.". Lancet 309 (8011): 571–3. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(77)92001-3. PMID 65662. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Kuhn, Jens H.; Becker, Stephan; Ebihara, Hideki; Geisbert, Thomas W.; Johnson, Karl M.; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro; Lipkin, W. Ian; Negredo, Ana I et al. (2010). "Proposal for a revised taxonomy of the family Filoviridae: Classification, names of taxa and viruses, and virus abbreviations". Archives of Virology 155 (12): 2083–103. doi:10.1007/s00705-010-0814-x. PMID 21046175. 
  6. Nzara, South Sudan
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  8. Netesov, S. V.; Feldmann, H.; Jahrling, P. B.; Klenk, H. D.; Sanchez, A. (2000). "Family Filoviridae". in van Regenmortel, M. H. V.; Fauquet, C. M.; Bishop, D. H. L. et al.. Virus Taxonomy – Seventh Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. San Diego, USA: Academic Press. pp. 539–48. ISBN 0-12-370200-3{{inconsistent citations}} 
  9. Pringle, C. R. (1998). "Virus taxonomy-San Diego 1998". Archives of Virology 143 (7): 1449–59. doi:10.1007/s007050050389. PMID 9742051. 
  10. Feldmann, H.; Geisbert, T. W.; Jahrling, P. B.; Klenk, H.-D.; Netesov, S. V.; Peters, C. J.; Sanchez, A.; Swanepoel, R. et al. (2005). "Family Filoviridae". in Fauquet, C. M.; Mayo, M. A.; Maniloff, J. et al.. Virus Taxonomy – Eighth Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. San Diego, USA: Elsevier/Academic Press. pp. 645–653. ISBN 0-12-370200-3{{inconsistent citations}} 
  11. Mayo, M. A. (2002). "ICTV at the Paris ICV: results of the plenary session and the binomial ballot". Archives of Virology 147 (11): 2254–60. doi:10.1007/s007050200052. 
  12. "Ebola outbreak: DR Congo confirms two deaths". BBC. 2014-08-24. 
  13. Towner, J. S.; Amman, B. R.; Sealy, T. K.; Carroll, S. A. R.; Comer, J. A.; Kemp, A.; Swanepoel, R.; Paddock, C. D. et al. (2009). Fouchier, Ron A. M.. ed. "Isolation of Genetically Diverse Marburg Viruses from Egyptian Fruit Bats". PLoS Pathogens 5 (7): e1000536. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000536. PMID 19649327. 
  14. Leroy, E. M.; Kumulungui, B.; Pourrut, X.; Rouquet, P.; Hassanin, A.; Yaba, P.; Délicat, A.; Paweska, J. T. et al. (2005). "Fruit bats as reservoirs of Ebola virus". Nature 438 (7068): 575–576. doi:10.1038/438575a. PMID 16319873. Bibcode2005Natur.438..575L. 

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