Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Multicenter Study

Ebola Virus Infection Associated With Transmission From Survivors

Saskia Den Boon et al. Emerg Infect Dis.


Ebola virus (EBOV) can persist in immunologically protected body sites in survivors of Ebola virus disease, creating the potential to initiate new chains of transmission. From the outbreak in West Africa during 2014-2016, we identified 13 possible events of viral persistence-derived transmission of EBOV (VPDTe) and applied predefined criteria to classify transmission events based on the strength of evidence for VPDTe and source and route of transmission. For 8 events, a recipient case was identified; possible source cases were identified for 5 of these 8. For 5 events, a recipient case or chain of transmission could not be confidently determined. Five events met our criteria for sexual transmission (male-to-female). One VPDTe event led to at least 4 generations of cases; transmission was limited after the other events. VPDTe has increased the importance of Ebola survivor services and sustained surveillance and response capacity in regions with previously widespread transmission.

Keywords: Ebola virus disease; Guinea; Liberia; Sierra Leone; West Africa; response; sexual transmission; surveillance; survivors; viral persistence; viruses.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 PubMed Central articles

  • Ebola Virus: A Global Public Health Menace: A Narrative Review
    S Hasan et al. J Family Med Prim Care 8 (7), 2189-2201. PMID 31463229. - Review
    Ebola virus disease (EVD), a fatal viral hemorrhagic illness, is due to infection with the Ebola virus of the Filoviridae family. The disease has evolved as a glob …


    1. Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Sudan, 1976. Report of a WHO/International Study Team. Bull World Health Organ. 1978;56:247–70. - PMC - PubMed
    1. World Health Organization. Ebola situation report 30 March 2016. [cited 2016 Apr 11]
    1. World Health Organization. Clinical care for survivors of Ebola virus disease. Interim guidance [cited 2016 Apr 11].
    1. Clark DV, Kibuuka H, Millard M, Wakabi S, Lukwago L, Taylor A, et al. Long-term sequelae after Ebola virus disease in Bundibugyo, Uganda: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015;15:905–12. 10.1016/S1473-3099(15)70152-0 - DOI - PubMed
    1. Bausch DG, Towner JS, Dowell SF, Kaducu F, Lukwiya M, Sanchez A, et al. Assessment of the risk of Ebola virus transmission from bodily fluids and fomites. J Infect Dis. 2007;196(Suppl 2):S142–7. 10.1086/520545 - DOI - PubMed

Publication types