Assessment and optimization of the GeneXpert diagnostic platform for detection of ebola virus RNA in seminal fluid

James Pettitt, Elizabeth Higgs, Mosoka Fallah, Martha Nason, Eric Stavale, Jonathan Marchand, Cavan Reilly, Kenneth Jensen, Bonnie Dighero-Kemp, Kaylie Tuznik, James Logue, Fatorma Bolay, Lisa Hensley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent studies have suggested that Ebola virus (EBOV) ribonucleic acid (RNA) potentially present in the semen of a large number of survivors of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Western Africa may contribute to sexual transmission of EVD and generate new clusters of cases in regions previously declared EVD-free. These findings drive the immediate need for a reliable, rapid, user-friendly assay for detection of EBOV RNA in semen that is deployable to multiple sites across Western Africa. In this study, we optimized the Xpert EBOV assay for semen samples by adding dithiothreitol. Compared to the assays currently in use in Liberia (including Ebola Zaire Target 1, major groove binder real-timepolymerase chain reaction assays, and original Xpert EBOV assay), the modified Xpert EBOV assay demonstrated greater sensitivity than the comparator assays. Thus, the modified Xpert EBOV assay is optimal for largescale monitoring of EBOV RNA persistence in male survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-553
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume215
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2017

Keywords

  • Diagnostics Test
  • Ebola virus
  • RNA
  • Semen
  • Survivors
  • Viral persistence
  • filoviruses

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