During the Ebola virus outbreak of 2013-2016, the Viral Special Pathogens Branch field laboratory in Sierra Leone tested approximately 26 000 specimens between August 2014 and October 2015. Analysis of the B2M endogenous control Ct values showed its utility in monitoring specimen quality, comparing results with different specimen types, and interpretation of results. For live patients, blood is the most sensitive specimen type and oral swabs have little diagnostic utility. However, swabs are highly sensitive for diagnostic testing of corpses.
Keywords: Ebola virus; West Africa; endogenous control; housekeeping gene; qRT-PCR.
Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.