ELISA for the detection of antibodies to Ebola viruses

J Infect Dis. 1999 Feb:179 Suppl 1:S192-8. doi: 10.1086/514313.


EIAs for IgG and IgM antibodies directed against Ebola (EBO) viral antigens have been developed and evaluated using sera of animals and humans surviving infection with EBO viruses. The IgM capture assay detected anti-EBO (subtype Reston) antibodies in the sera of 5 of 5 experimentally infected animals at the time they succumbed to lethal infections. IgM antibodies were also detected in the serum of a human who was infected with EBO (subtype Reston) during a postmortem examination of an infected monkey. The antibody was detectable as early as day 6 after infection in experimentally infected animals and persisted for <90 days. The IgG response was less rapid; however, it persisted for >400 days in 3 animals who survived infection, and it persisted for approximately 10 years after infection in the sera of 2 humans. Although these data are limited by the number of sera available for verification, the IgM assay seems to have great promise as a diagnostic tool. Furthermore the long-term persistence of the IgG antibodies measured by this test strongly suggests that the ELISA will be useful in field investigations of EBO virus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Ebolavirus / classification
  • Ebolavirus / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / statistics & numerical data
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / diagnosis*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M