Filoviruses are negative-stranded RNA viruses belonging to the Filoviridae family. Out of the six genera included in the Filoviridae family, only two are known to cause disease in humans: Marburg virus and Ebola virus. For both viruses, human infection is caused by direct contact with infected bodily fluids and it causes hemorrhagic fever [1], [2].

The first outbreak of Marburg virus was reported in Germany and Yugoslavia in 1967, followed by other 13 outbreaks (the last one happening in Uganda in 2017). In total 457 cases of Marburg infection were confirmed, with 376 deaths (83% of the cases). No vaccine is available for Marburg virus.

The first outbreak of Ebola virus was reported in Sudan in 1979, with 39 outbreaks since then (the most recent having occurred in February 2021). In total, more than 32000 cases have been reported, with more than 14000 deaths (44% of the cases). An Ebola virus vaccine was approved in 2020 against Zaire Ebolavirus (CDC).

Marburg virus and Ebola virus are both considered Risk Group 4 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Category A Priority Pathogen by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Marburg virus particles (NIAID Integrated Research Facility)

[1] Languon S. and Quaye O., 2019, "Filovirus Disease Outbreaks: A Chronological Overview"
[2] Emanuel J. et al., 2017, " Filoviruses: Ecology, Molecular Biology, and Evolution"