Printer Friendly

Marburg [mahr'boork] Virus.

In August and September 1967, an outbreak of a viral hemorrhagic fever occurred among laboratory workers in Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany, and Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) who were processing kidneys from African green monkeys that had been imported from Uganda. (These kidneys were used in the production of polio vaccine.) Of 25 primary and 6 secondary cases, 7 were fatal.

A new virus, named Marburg virus, was isolated from patients and monkeys, and the high case-fatality ratio called for the best biocontainment of the day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) borrowed a mobile containment laboratory from the National Institutes of Health and set it up in the CDC parking lot; it provided approximately biosafety level 2+ containment. A few isolated, sporadic cases were reported in the following decades until a 1998 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo affected 154 people with a case-fatality ratio of 83%, and a 2004 outbreak in Angola affected 227 people with a case-fatality ratio of 90%.


1. Siegert R, Shu HL, Slenczka W, Peters D, Muller G.

On the etiology of an unknown human infection originating from monkeys [in German]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 1967;92:2341-3.

2. Kissling RE, Robinson RQ, Murphy FA, Whitfield SG. Agent of disease contracted from green monkeys. Science. 1968;160:888-90.

3. Kissling RE, Murphy FA, Henderson BE. Marburg virus. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1970;174:932-45. 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1970.tb45614.x

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About Marburg hemorrhagic fever [cited 2017 Mar 31].

Address for correspondence: Ronnie Henry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop E03, Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA; email:


Caption: Negative contrast electron microscopy of Marburg virus, from original monkey kidney cell culture propagation done at CDC in 1967, magnification =40,000x. Image courtesy of Frederick A. Murphy.

COPYRIGHT 2017 U.S. National Center for Infectious Diseases
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2017 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:etymologia
Author:Henry, Ronnie; Murphy, Frederick A.
Publication:Emerging Infectious Diseases
Date:Oct 1, 2017
Previous Article:Mild Illness during Outbreak of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O157 Infections Associated with Agricultural Show, Australia.
Next Article:Enterovirus D68-Associated Acute Flaccid Myelitis in Immunocompromised Woman, Italy.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters