Researchers from the University of Kent have published a new study that suggests the Reston virus may be capable of mutating into a virus with an Ebola-like impact.
The Reston virus is in the same biological family as Ebola, but in its current form is not known to cause death. It typically infects pigs in Asia, though it has been known to infect humans as well. The research, lead by Senior Lecturer in Computational Biology Mark Wass, Professor of Molecular Medicine Martin Michaelis, and Lecturer in Virology Jeremy Rossman, found that given a few mutations to a specific protein, the Reston virus could take on fatal characteristics.
The findings were recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.