Development and evaluation of a real-time RT-PCR assay for the detection of Ebola virus (Zaire) during an Ebola outbreak in Guinea in 2014-2015

J Virol Methods. 2016 Feb;228:26-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2015.11.007. Epub 2015 Nov 18.


In early February 2014, an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease caused by Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) occurred in Guinea; cases were also recorded in other West African countries with a combined population of approximately 25 million. A rapid, sensitive and inexpensive method for detecting EBOV is needed to effectively control such outbreak. Here, we report a real-time reverse-transcription PCR assay for Z. ebolavirus detection used by the Specialized Anti-epidemic Team of the Russian Federation during the Ebola virus disease prevention mission in the Republic of Guinea. The analytical sensitivity of the assay is 5 × 10(2) viral particles per ml, and high specificity is demonstrated using representative sampling of viral, bacterial and human nucleic acids. This assay can be applied successfully for detecting the West African strains of Z. ebolavirus as well as on strains isolated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2014.

Keywords: Ebola Zaire virus; Ebola fever outbreak; Guinea; RT-PCR.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Western / epidemiology
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Ebolavirus / genetics
  • Ebolavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Guinea / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / diagnosis*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Russia
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • RNA, Viral