Extracorporeal virus elimination for the treatment of severe Ebola virus disease--first experience with lectin affinity plasmapheresis

Blood Purif. 2014;38(3-4):286-91. doi: 10.1159/000375229. Epub 2015 Feb 11.


Therapeutic options for Ebola virus disease (EVD) are currently limited to (1) best supportive care, and (2) evolving virus-specific therapies, resulting from decades of analyzing one of the world's deadliest diseases. Supportive care ranges from oral or intravenous rehydration therapy and anti-emetics in developing countries to much more extensive life-support interventions in resource-rich countries. Current EVD-specific therapies attempt to either interfere with the earliest steps of viral replication or to elicit a strong immune response against the virus. An entirely new approach is the extracorporeal elimination of viruses and viral glycoproteins by lectin affinity plasmapheresis. Herein, we report for the first time the successful and safe use of lectin affinity plasmapheresis in a patient with severe Ebola virus disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Citrates
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Critical Care / methods
  • Ebolavirus / isolation & purification
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Kidneys, Artificial
  • Male
  • Mannose / chemistry
  • Mannose-Binding Lectins / chemistry*
  • Plant Lectins / chemistry*
  • Plasmapheresis / methods*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Uganda
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / chemistry*
  • Viral Load
  • Viremia / therapy*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Citrates
  • Mannose-Binding Lectins
  • Plant Lectins
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • snowdrop lectin
  • Mannose