FILOVIR: just another website on Ebola and Marburg viruses
Among the most virulent pathogens ever known, filoviruses – Ebola and Marburg viruses – are filamentous-shaped, non segmented, single-stranded and negative-sensed RNA viruses that belong to the family Filoviridae and cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and non humans primates. Confined to remote tropical areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia, where they hide into elusive natural reservoir species of the rain forest, filoviruses occasionally emerge in isolated but deadly human outbreaks with mortality rates up to 90%. Originating from zoonotic spillover, those outbreaks affected several African countries in the last decades, showing an increase in frequency and extension of geographical distribution. Recently, the Ebola virus ‘ one that hit West Africa in 2014 rapidly developed into a global health international issue and humanitarian crisis. During this emergency, FDA and WHO have authorized the use of some experimental therapeutics, however, there are still not licensed vaccines neither antivirals to counter filoviruses. Furthermore, both Ebola and Marburg viruses have a proven potential for misuse as biological weapons or bioterrorism agents.
So far, no other pathogens like filoviruses have been so fascinating for the general public. In fact, since their discovery, which occurred around 40 years ago, Ebola and Marburg viruses have embodied the ancestral myth of the incoming plague and fueled the collective imagination with fears for a doomsday infectious disease which eventually “liquefies” its victims.
The creation of this website originated from the authors will and personal need to collect the rigorous and scientific data that were widely dispersed in the world wide web, separating them from the exaggeration and mystification of pseudoscientific popular literature, and gathering them into the unique place that this web site aims to be.
Basically, FILOVIR is conceived as a mono-thematic environment focused on filovirus research. It mainly consists of public third-party information made available with the use of the iframe in its pages. With less specialized information, however packed with lots of news and real time updates on the topic, this website has a space on Twitter too. The final result is a virtual place where all people interested in this topic can find scientifically rigorous and updated information all-together at their own fingertips.
The team: few words about us
I am a biologist with a background in biochemistry and virology. I took my graduation in Biological Sciences at the University of Cagliari in Sardinia, Italy, and a PhD in “Medical Microbiology and Immunology” at the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Rome, Tor Vergata.
My research interest are filoviruses (Ebolaviruses and Marburgviruses) and highly pathogenic influenza viruses, with an emphasis on the biochemistry and structural biology of those viral proteins that, in the life cycle of these pathogens, are involved in the replication, transcription and innate immune evasion processes. The publications list describing what so far was my career path can be found here, while a personal webpage of mine is available at this address on ResearchGate and LinkedIn. You can also find my personal details at the page “contacts” of this website.
I am a computational biologist at the Bioinformatics Unit of the Center for Advanced Studies, Research and Development in Sardinia (CRS4) and at the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Abruzzo e Molise “G. Caporale”. I was graduated at the University of Rome, La Sapienza, with a MSc degree in Molecular Biology and a PhD in “Biophysics”.
My research interest is the functional genomics of human pathogens, including assembly and annotation of bacterial and viral genomes with a focus on infectious agents of zoonotic origin. My list of publications can be seen here and a more detailed curriculum vitae is available at my ResearchGate and LinkedIn profile.
I am a biologist, a system administrator and a project manager in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). I was graduated at the University of Cagliari with a MSc in Biological Sciences. My current interest is the development of educational tools to disseminate scientific data and resources.
We hope you will appreciate our efforts in creating and maintaining FILOVIR as a source of accurate and updated scientific information about filoviruses, and we really wish you enjoy navigation on these pages. Any suggestion, comment or question is welcome and, please, fell free to contact us for it.
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