Inflammatory and Humoral Immune Response during Ebola Virus Infection in Survivor and Fatal Cases Occurred in Sierra Leone during the 2014⁻2016 Outbreak in West Africa

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Ebola virus (EBOV) infection is characterized by an excessive inflammatory response, a loss of lymphocytes and a general paralysis of the immune system, however pathophysiological mechanisms are not fully understood. In a cohort of 23 fatal and 21 survivors of ebola virus disease (EVD) cases admitted to the Emergency Ebola-Treatment-Center in Goderich (Freetown, Sierra Leone) during the 2014 to 2016 EBOV epidemic in Western Africa, we analyzed the pathway-focused gene expression profile of secreted proteins involved in the immune response and the levels of specific anti-EBOV IgM and IgG from the time of admission till discharge or death. We observed a dysregulated inflammatory response in fatal patients as compared to survivors, mainly consisting of the upregulation of inflammatory mediators, whose extent directly correlated with viremia levels. The upregulation persisted and intensified during the late phase of infection. Relevant differences were also found in humoral immunity, as an earlier and more robust EBOV antibody response was observed in survivor patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 23 2019



  • antibody
  • cytokines
  • ebola virus
  • immune response
  • inflammation
  • sierra leone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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