JUL 16, 2017 05:53 PM PDT

Endangered Gorillas Have Their own Herpes Virus

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

OOPS! THAT EXPERIMENT FAILED...

It's not your fault! Something went wrong with our formula.
Please begin your experiment again by clicking here.

If this error continues to occur please contact us at support@labroots.com.


Mountain gorillas are genetically one of our closest relatives. It has been found that they can harbor a virus that is similar to the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis in people. These findings, published in Scientific Reports, may help people affected by Epstein-Barr and could aid in the conservation of mountain gorillas, which are critically endangered.

The virus detected by the researchers is a herpes virus, as is Epstein-Barr, also known as human herpesvirus 4. Globally, it infects over 90 percent of people - although it does not usually cause serious health issues. In people with compromised immunity, however, it can lead to some kinds of cancer.

After analyzing gorilla saliva left on leaves in Rwanda and Uganda, the scientists discovered this version of the herpes virus. It is not a serious threat to the gorillas and doesn't usually cause illness. It can, however, be detrimental to gorilla infants, just like Epstein-Barr is a threat to human infants with HIV.

"Viruses can behave similarly in different species," said lead author Tierra Smiley Evans, a postdoctoral researcher in Veterinary Medicine. "Learning about how gorillas react to this virus in their natural setting may help us have a better understanding of how Epstein-Barr virus affects human infants," Smiley Evans concluded.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JUL 21, 2018
Videos
JUL 21, 2018
Artificial Nerves May Transform Prosthetics
Researchers at Stanford made an artificial nerve that could move a cockroach leg....
JUL 26, 2018
Videos
JUL 26, 2018
Most Military Deaths Are Not From Combat
Since 2006, 16,000 military service members have died while on active duty. While some were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, 72% of those deaths o...
JUL 28, 2018
Videos
JUL 28, 2018
23andMe Announces Partnership with Drug Company GSK
The collaboration aims to improve personalized therapeutics....
AUG 02, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
AUG 02, 2018
Cannabinoids Used in Treatment for ALS
The Ice Bucket Challenge brought attention to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and the need for further research on the fatal disease. This progressive...
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
Is Earth Running Out of Helium?
If current global demand continues, we can face a shortage of helium within the next 40 years. Helium is the second most common element after hydrogen...
AUG 16, 2018
Videos
AUG 16, 2018
Keep an Eye on These Foods When Going Keto
The ketogenic diet is popular, and many swear by it for weight loss, calming inflammation, relieving stress, and getting blood sugars under control. Sure,...
Loading Comments...