Ebola and Marburg

Defective interfering genomes and Ebola virus persistence

This article is available on UREPH.

MSF's Research Unit on Humanitarian Stakes and Practices (UREPH) is pleased to announce the publication of the correspondence to The Lancet "Defective interfering genomes and Ebola virus persistence" by Philippe Calain, Laurent Roux & Daniel Kolakofsky (The Lancet, 2016, Vol. 388, No. 10045, pp. 659–660).

Michael Jacobs and colleagues (The Lancet, 2016, Vol. 388, No. 10043, pp. 498-503) provide clinical and virological evidence of a relapse of Ebola virus disease (EVD) presenting as acute meningo-encephalitis nine months after recovery from an acute infection. However exceptional, this case adds to an increasing number of reports suggesting that Ebola virus can persist for months in immune-privileged anatomical sites, such as semen, ocular tissues, breastmilk, and the central nervous system. In such cases, unknown immunological dysfunctions certainly play a part in delaying the clearance of Ebola-infected cells.