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Virologica Sinica, 33 (4) : 323, 2018
Research Article
Serological Investigation of Laboratory-Confirmed and Suspected Ebola Virus Disease Patients During the Late Phase of the Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone
1. Key Laboratory of Medical Virology and Viral Diseases, Ministry of Health of People's Republic of China, National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention (IVDC), Chinese Center for Disease control and Prevention (China CDC), Beijing 102206, China
2. Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Beijing CDC, China), Beijing 100013, China
3. Jilin Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Jilin CDC, China), Jilin 130021, China
4. Fujian Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Fujian CDC, China), Fuzhou 350001, China
5. Shandong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Shandong CDC, China), Jinan 250014, China
6. Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Jiangsu CDC, China), Nanjing 210009, China
7. Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, Beijing 100071, China.
8. Sierra Leone-China Friendship Biological Safety Laboratory (SLE-CHN Bio-safety Lab), Freetown 999127, Sierra-Leone
9. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS, SL), Freetown 00232, Sierra Leone
10. CAS key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
 Correspondence: liujun@ivdc.chinacdc.cn;mifangl@163.com
This study aimed to investigate the serological characteristics of Ebola virus (EBOV) infection during the late phase of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. In total, 877 blood samples from 694 suspected Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases assessed from March to December 2015, were analyzed via real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for viral RNA and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Luminex to detect antibodies against EBOV. Viral load and EBOV-specific IgM/IgG titers displayed a declining trend during March to December 2015. Viral RNA load decreased rapidly at earlier stages after disease onset, while EBOV-specific IgM and IgG still persisted in 58.1% (18/31) and 93.5% (29/31) of the confirmed EVD patients and in 3.8% (25/663) and 17.8% (118/663) of the RNA-negative suspected patients in the later phase, respectively. Dynamic analysis of longitudinally collected samples from eight EVD patients revealed typically reversed trends of declining viral load and increasing IgM and/or IgG titers in response to the EBOV infection. The present results indicate that certain populations of Sierra Leone developed immunity to an EBOV infection in the late phase of the outbreak, providing novel insights into the risk assessment of EBOV infections among human populations.
Received: 30 May 2018  Accepted: 8 Sep 2018  Published online: 31 Jul 2018
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