Use of Existing Diagnostic Reverse-Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Assays for Detection of Ebola Virus RNA in Semen

J Infect Dis. 2016 Apr 15;213(8):1237-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiv454. Epub 2015 Sep 15.


Sexual transmission of Ebola virus in Liberia has now been documented and associated with new clusters in regions previously declared Ebola free. Assays that have Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and are routinely used to detect Ebola virus RNA in whole blood and plasma specimens at the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research were tested for their suitability in detecting the presence of Ebola virus RNA in semen. Qiagen AVL extraction protocols, as well as the Ebola Zaire Target 1 and major groove binder quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction assays, were demonstrably suitable for this purpose and should facilitate epidemiologic investigations, including those involving long-term survivors of Ebola.

Keywords: Ebola; PCR; diagnosis; semen.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Ebolavirus / genetics*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / diagnosis*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Semen / virology*
  • Virology / methods*