Postmortem stability of Ebola virus

Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 May;21(5):856-9. doi: 10.3201/eid2105.150041.


The ongoing Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has highlighted questions regarding stability of the virus and detection of RNA from corpses. We used Ebola virus-infected macaques to model humans who died of Ebola virus disease. Viable virus was isolated <7 days posteuthanasia; viral RNA was detectable for 10 weeks.

Keywords: Ebola hemorrhagic fever; Ebola virus; Ebola virus disease; West Africa; cynomolgus macaques; outbreak; postmortem stability; transmission; viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Western / epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Autopsy
  • Cell Line
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Ebolavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Ebolavirus / physiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / transmission
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / virology*
  • Humans
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Microbial Viability*
  • RNA, Viral
  • Time Factors


  • RNA, Viral