Clinical and Virological Characteristics of Ebola Virus Disease Patients Treated With Favipiravir (T-705)-Sierra Leone, 2014

Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Nov 15;63(10):1288-1294. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciw571. Epub 2016 Aug 23.


Background: During 2014-2015, an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) swept across parts of West Africa. No approved antiviral drugs are available for Ebola treatment currently.

Methods: A retrospective clinical case series was performed for EVD patients in Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital. Patients with confirmed EVD were sequentially enrolled and treated with either World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended supportive therapy (control group) from 10 to 30 October, or treated with WHO-recommended therapy plus favipiravir (T-705) from 1 to 10 November 2014. Survival and virological characteristics were observed for 85 patients in the control group and 39 in the T-705 treatment group.

Results: The overall survival rate in the T-705 treatment group was higher than that of the control group (56.4% [22/39] vs 35.3% [30/85]; P = .027). Among the 35 patients who finished all designed endpoint observations, the survival rate in the T-705 treatment group (64.8% [11/17]) was higher than that of the control group (27.8% [5/18]). Furthermore, the average survival time of the treatment group (46.9 ± 5.6 days) was longer than that of the control group (28.9 ± 4.7 days). Most symptoms of patients in the treatment group improved significantly. Additionally, 52.9% of patients who received T-705 had a >100-fold viral load reduction, compared with only 16.7% of patients in the control group.

Conclusions: Treatment of EVD with T-705 was associated with prolonged survival and markedly reduced viral load, which makes a compelling case for further randomized controlled trials of T-705 for treating EVD.

Keywords: Ebola virus disease; Sierra Leone; clinical features; favipiravir; treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amides / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ebolavirus*
  • Female
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / drug therapy*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / mortality*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / virology
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sierra Leone / epidemiology
  • Viral Load
  • Young Adult


  • Amides
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Pyrazines
  • favipiravir