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      Diagnosis of Ebola Virus Disease: Progress and Prospects

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          Abstract

          Ebola virus disease (EVD) represents one of the deadliest diseases in the world, with a fatality rate of over 70% and absence of effective vaccine and treatment. Rapid and specific diagnosis of EVD is essential for isolation, treatment of patients, and prevention of outbreak spread. Although many assays for EVD diagnosis have been reported, there is still an urgent requirement for practical assays for use in resource-limited areas, like Africa. Here we summarize the progresses of EVD diagnostic techniques.

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          Most cited references50

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          Rapid detection and quantification of RNA of Ebola and Marburg viruses, Lassa virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, Rift Valley fever virus, dengue virus, and yellow fever virus by real-time reverse transcription-PCR.

          Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are acute infections with high case fatality rates. Important VHF agents are Ebola and Marburg viruses (MBGV/EBOV), Lassa virus (LASV), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), dengue virus (DENV), and yellow fever virus (YFV). VHFs are clinically difficult to diagnose and to distinguish; a rapid and reliable laboratory diagnosis is required in suspected cases. We have established six one-step, real-time reverse transcription-PCR assays for these pathogens based on the Superscript reverse transcriptase-Platinum Taq polymerase enzyme mixture. Novel primers and/or 5'-nuclease detection probes were designed for RVFV, DENV, YFV, and CCHFV by using the latest DNA database entries. PCR products were detected in real time on a LightCycler instrument by using 5'-nuclease technology (RVFV, DENV, and YFV) or SybrGreen dye intercalation (MBGV/EBOV, LASV, and CCHFV). The inhibitory effect of SybrGreen on reverse transcription was overcome by initial immobilization of the dye in the reaction capillaries. Universal cycling conditions for SybrGreen and 5'-nuclease probe detection were established. Thus, up to three assays could be performed in parallel, facilitating rapid testing for several pathogens. All assays were thoroughly optimized and validated in terms of analytical sensitivity by using in vitro-transcribed RNA. The >or=95% detection limits as determined by probit regression analysis ranged from 1,545 to 2,835 viral genome equivalents/ml of serum (8.6 to 16 RNA copies per assay). The suitability of the assays was exemplified by detection and quantification of viral RNA in serum samples of VHF patients.
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            Clinical care of two patients with Ebola virus disease in the United States.

            West Africa is currently experiencing the largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in history. Two patients with EVD were transferred from Liberia to our hospital in the United States for ongoing care. Malaria had also been diagnosed in one patient, who was treated for it early in the course of EVD. The two patients had substantial intravascular volume depletion and marked electrolyte abnormalities. We undertook aggressive supportive measures of hydration (typically, 3 to 5 liters of intravenous fluids per day early in the course of care) and electrolyte correction. As the patients' condition improved clinically, there was a concomitant decline in the amount of virus detected in plasma.
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              Rapid diagnosis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever by reverse transcription-PCR in an outbreak setting and assessment of patient viral load as a predictor of outcome.

              The largest outbreak on record of Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) occurred in Uganda from August 2000 to January 2001. The outbreak was centered in the Gulu district of northern Uganda, with secondary transmission to other districts. After the initial diagnosis of Sudan ebolavirus by the National Institute for Virology in Johannesburg, South Africa, a temporary diagnostic laboratory was established within the Gulu district at St. Mary's Lacor Hospital. The laboratory used antigen capture and reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) to diagnose Sudan ebolavirus infection in suspect patients. The RT-PCR and antigen-capture diagnostic assays proved very effective for detecting ebolavirus in patient serum, plasma, and whole blood. In samples collected very early in the course of infection, the RT-PCR assay could detect ebolavirus 24 to 48 h prior to detection by antigen capture. More than 1,000 blood samples were collected, with multiple samples obtained from many patients throughout the course of infection. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR was used to determine the viral load in multiple samples from patients with fatal and nonfatal cases, and these data were correlated with the disease outcome. RNA copy levels in patients who died averaged 2 log(10) higher than those in patients who survived. Using clinical material from multiple EHF patients, we sequenced the variable region of the glycoprotein. This Sudan ebolavirus strain was not derived from either the earlier Boniface (1976) or Maleo (1979) strain, but it shares a common ancestor with both. Furthermore, both sequence and epidemiologic data are consistent with the outbreak having originated from a single introduction into the human population.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Infectious Diseases and Translational Medicine
                Infect. Dis. Transl. Med.
                Infect. Dis. Transl. Med.
                International Biological and Medical Journals Publishing House Co., Limited (Room E16, 3/f, Yongda Commercial Building, No.97, Bonham Stand (Sheung Wan), HongKong )
                2411-2917
                30 December 2015
                30 December 2015
                : 1
                : 2
                : 73-79
                Affiliations
                From the Institute of Disease Control and Prevention, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100071, China
                From the Institute of Disease Control and Prevention, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100071, China
                From the Institute of Disease Control and Prevention, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100071, China
                From the Institute of Disease Control and Prevention, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100071, China
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Zeliang Chen, Email: zeliangchen@ 123456yahoo.com ;
                Article
                10.11979/idtm.201502006
                3b9619d5-571c-4a0f-8f4e-698e1222631e

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, References: 59, Pages: 7
                Product
                Categories
                Review

                Medicine,Infectious disease & Microbiology
                Nucleic acid,Ebola Virus Disease,Diagnostic technologies,Immunological assays

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