This chapter presents a review of what is known about the natural history of the Ebolaviruses in Central and West Africa as well as in the Philippines. All the previous hypotheses on the natural cycle of Ebolavirus are revisited. Also, the main factors driving the virus natural cycle are summarized for the different ecosystems where the Ebolavirus is known to have emerged, including the virus species, the date of emergence, the seasonality, the environmental features, as well as the potential risk and associated factors of emergence. The proposed hypothesis of the Ebolavirus natural cycle prevails an inter-species spillover involving several vertebrate hosts, as well as biotic and abiotic changing environmental factors among other original features of a complex natural cycle. It is also compared with other virus having such type of cycle involving chiropteran as potential reservoir and vector and presenting such original inter-outbreak epidemiological silences. Ultimately, these observations and hypotheses on Ebolavirus natural cycles give some insight into the potential drivers of virus emergence, host co-evolution, and a spatiotemporal dimension of risk leading to identify high risk areas for preventing emerging events and be prepared for an early response.
Part of the book: Emerging Challenges in Filovirus Infections