Does rubella virus have an animal origin? : Studies first detect closely related viruses in animals in Germany and Uganda : FLI Press release 11/2020

Isle of Riems, 7 October 2020. Up to now, humans were considered the only natural host of rubella virus, the causative agent of rubella („German measles“). However, the origin of rubella virus was still unknown. In two independent studies from the USA and Germany, viruses closely related to rubella virus were now first detected in animals. While a research team from the USA found the so-called “Ruhugu virus” in cyclops roundleaf bats in Uganda, the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) detected the also novel “Rustrela virus” in zoo animals and yellow-necked mice. Both viruses show strong structural similarities to rubella virus and indicate that it originates from animals. The results of the study have now been jointly published in the renowned scientific journal “NATURE”.

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Does rubella virus have an animal origin? : Studies first detect closely related viruses in animals in Germany and Uganda. FLI Press release 11/2020. Greifswald - Insel Riems corrected version 2020. Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut.

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