Diagnosis of Ebola Virus
The diagnosis of an Ebola infected person, or the detection of the Ebola virus, is quite difficult during the early days of the infection. Reasons are initial symptoms, such as fever, which are not specific to the infection with Ebola. People infected with malaria or typhoid fever often show similar symptoms. Early signs of infection include fever, headache, sore throat, joint and muscle aches, diarrhoea and weakness. Therefore, there is a need for the development of better diagnostic test to allow the detection of the Ebola virus in a shorter time period.
What are the reasons for the testing for an Ebola infection?
Reasons for testing if the Ebola virus is present in a person are:
- A person shows symptoms mentioned above and is known to have had contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person.
- A person shows symptoms mentioned above and is known to have had contact with infected animals.
- A person shows symptoms mentioned above and is known to have had contact with infected objects such as infected clothes or tools that belonged to an infected person.
What can be done to avoid infection?
Isolate infected persons and notify public health professionals.
What type of testing methods are available?
In general, the development or use of optimal RNA isolation methods together with real-time PCR is a good start to design testing or diagnostic methods. For these methods to work well, optimized primers and probes for thePCR reaction will need to be designed.
The table below shows a list of laboratory or diagnosis tests that are available or can be developed.