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Ebola Might Not Make Some People Sick, Study Finds

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  • Ebola Might Not Make Some People Sick, Study Finds

    by MAGGIE FOX


    The Ebola virus may not make some people sick, researchers reported Tuesday.
    It shouldn't be surprising — most viruses can cause silent infections in at least a few people. But Ebola is so notorious for causing horrific symptoms, and for being so very deadly, that no one had taken the time to see if it might not always be so bad.

    In at least one village in Sierra Leone, it seems that up to a quarter of those infected may never have known it.
    "Our data indicate that 25 percent of Ebola virus infections may have been minimally symptomatic," an international team of researchers writes in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.


    LINK TO FULL ARTICLE



    In at least one village in Sierra Leone, it seems that up to a quarter of those infected may never have known it.
    “Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights – that must be our call to arms"
    Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

    ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ GertvanderHoek@gmail.com ~~~

  • #2
    Minimally Symptomatic Infection in an Ebola ‘Hotspot’: A Cross-Sectional SerosurveyAbstract

    Introduction


    Evidence for minimally symptomatic Ebola virus (EBOV) infection is limited. During the 2013–16 outbreak in West Africa, it was not considered epidemiologically relevant to published models or projections of intervention effects. In order to improve our understanding of the transmission dynamics of EBOV in humans, we investigated the occurrence of minimally symptomatic EBOV infection in quarantined contacts of reported Ebola virus disease cases in a recognized ‘hotspot.’

    Methodology/Principal Findings

    We conducted a cross-sectional serosurvey in Sukudu, Kono District, Sierra Leone, from October 2015 to January 2016. A blood sample was collected from 187 study participants, 132 negative controls (individuals with a low likelihood of previous exposure to Ebola virus), and 30 positive controls (Ebola virus disease survivors). IgG responses to Ebola glycoprotein and nucleoprotein were measured using Alpha Diagnostic International ELISA kits with plasma diluted at 1:200. Optical density was read at 450 nm (subtracting OD at 630nm to normalize well background) on a ChroMate 4300 microplate reader. A cutoff of 4.7 U/mL for the anti-GP ELISA yielded 96.7% sensitivity and 97.7% specificity in distinguishing positive and negative controls. We identified 14 seropositive individuals not known to have had Ebola virus disease. Two of the 14 seropositive individuals reported only fever during quarantine while the remaining 12 denied any signs or symptoms during quarantine.

    Conclusions/Significance

    By using ELISA to measure Zaire Ebola virus antibody concentrations, we identified a significant number of individuals with previously undetected EBOV infection in a ‘hotspot’ village in Sierra Leone, approximately one year after the village outbreak. The findings provide further evidence that Ebola, like many other viral infections, presents with a spectrum of clinical manifestations, including minimally symptomatic infection. These data also suggest that a significant portion of Ebola transmission events may have gone undetected during the outbreak. Further studies are needed to understand the potential risk of transmission and clinical sequelae in individuals with previously undetected EBOV infection.


    Author Summary

    With over 28,000 reported cases, the 2013–16 West African Ebola virus disease epidemic is the largest and longest on record. This study provides further evidence that Ebola, like other viruses, causes a spectrum of clinical manifestations that may include minimally symptomatic infection. The findings also suggest that many episodes of human-to-human transmission of Ebola virus in West Africa may have gone undetected in the recent outbreak. This has implications for the definition of Ebola virus disease survivorship, delineation of transmission chains, and future vaccine studies.

    Author Summary With over 28,000 reported cases, the 2013–16 West African Ebola virus disease epidemic is the largest and longest on record. This study provides further evidence that Ebola, like other viruses, causes a spectrum of clinical manifestations that may include minimally symptomatic infection. The findings also suggest that many episodes of human-to-human transmission of Ebola virus in West Africa may have gone undetected in the recent outbreak. This has implications for the definition of Ebola virus disease survivorship, delineation of transmission chains, and future vaccine studies.
    “Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights – that must be our call to arms"
    Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

    ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ GertvanderHoek@gmail.com ~~~

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