A systematic review and meta-analysis of seroprevalence surveys of Ebola Virus infection

Added June 20, 2019

Citation: Bower H, Glynn JR. A systematic review and meta-analysis of seroprevalence surveys of ebolavirus infection. Scientific data. 2017 Jan 31;4(1):1-9. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2016.133

Summary: In the past, several cases of asymptomatic Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) were reported during or after outbreaks. It remains uncertain as to how critical asymptomatic EVD is to the general transmission of EVD and its prevalence.

A meta-analysis of fifty-one studies (84 population samples) was carried out to compile all cases under a standardized definition of ‘asymptomatic Ebola Virus Disease infection’ for better understanding of the Ebola virus transmission. To rule out test negative Ebola virus from asymptomatic EVD, diagnostic tests using IgG (antibody) measures (ex. IFA and ELISA) were carried out to determine seropositivity (presence in the blood serum). Limitations arose from the varying levels of threshold of the seropositivity reported, which ultimately affects the study results as diagnosis wouldn’t have been standardized throughout the compiled reports.

No categorization of the Ebola virus strains was reported and the study included reports from Ebola virus outbreaks between 1976 and 2015. It is a challenge to interpret this data due to the high degree of heterogeneity in the samples examined and unscripted exposure levels in the reports.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on Ebola but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about Ebola on the basis of this summary alone.

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