In 2009, several people in Mangala village, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, contracted acute hemorrhagic fever, and a novel rhabdovirus, Bas-Congo Virus or BASV, was detected in one of the serum samples.

The precise mode of transmission remained unclear, but health officials were worried that BASV was emerging as a human pathogen of acute hemorrhagic fever.

Scientists at the Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD set out to determine whether Tibrovirus, a genus of the one of the rhabdovirus family, was one of the RNA families capable of causing viral hemorrhagic fever in humans. As referenced in their research article, the scientists used BlotCycler for processing their western blot assays.

Using individual recombinant vesiculoviruses expressing the glycoproteins of all eight known tibroviruses and more than 75 cell lines representing different animal species, scientists wanted to demonstrate that the glycoproteins of all tibroviruses can mediate vesiculovirus particle entry into human, bat, nonhuman primate, cotton rat, boa constrictor, and Asian tiger mosquito cells.

Here is the abstract of the article appearing in Frontiers in Microbiology, Front. Microbiol., 26 April 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00856

In 2012, the genome of a novel rhabdovirus, Bas-Congo virus (BASV), was discovered in the acute-phase serum of a Congolese patient with presumed viral hemorrhagic fever. In the absence of a replicating virus isolate, fulfilling Koch’s postulates to determine whether BASV is indeed a human virus and/or pathogen has been impossible. However, experiments with vesiculoviral particles pseudotyped with Bas-Congo glycoprotein suggested that BASV particles can enter cells from multiple animals, including humans. In 2015, genomes of two related viruses, Ekpoma virus 1 (EKV-1) and Ekpoma virus 2 (EKV-2), were detected in human sera in Nigeria. Isolates could not be obtained. Phylogenetic analyses led to the classification of BASV, EKV-1, and EKV-2 in the same genus, Tibrovirus, together with five biting midge-borne rhabdoviruses [i.e., Beatrice Hill virus (BHV), Bivens Arm virus (BAV), Coastal Plains virus (CPV), Sweetwater Branch virus (SWBV), and Tibrogargan virus (TIBV)] not known to infect humans. Using individual recombinant vesiculoviruses expressing the glycoproteins of all eight known tibroviruses and more than 75 cell lines representing different animal species, we demonstrate that the glycoproteins of all tibroviruses can mediate vesiculovirus particle entry into human, bat, nonhuman primate, cotton rat, boa constrictor, and Asian tiger mosquito cells. Using four of five isolated authentic tibroviruses (i.e., BAV, CPV, SWBV, and TIBV), our experiments indicate that many cell types may be partially resistant to tibrovirus replication after virion cell entry. Consequently, experimental data solely obtained from experiments using tibrovirus surrogate systems (e.g., vesiculoviral pseudotypes, recombinant vesiculoviruses) cannot be used to predict whether BASV, or any other tibrovirus, infects humans.

Needless to say, it was a large study.

In order to manage the number of western blot assays run, and to assure publication-quality results were delivered, the scientists choose to process the membranes using BlotCycler. It’s another example of the benefits afforded to scientists who employ BlotCycler in their lab work; productivity and precision data for publication-quality results.

Install BlotCycler in your lab – for more information, go here.