Ebola virus infection associated with transmission from survivors

Saskia Den Boon, Barbara J. Marston, Tolbert G. Nyenswah, Amara Jambai, Moumie Barry, Sakoba Keita, Kara Durski, Schabbethai S. Senesie, Devin Perkins, Anita Shah, Hugh H. Green, Esther L. Hamblion, Margaret Lamunu, Alex Gasasira, Nuha O. Mahmoud, Mamadou H. Djingarey, Oliver Morgan, Ian Crozier, Christopher Dye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-246
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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