Transmissibility and pathogenicity of Ebola virus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of household secondary attack rate and asymptomatic infection

Added March 19, 2019

Citation: Dean NE, Halloran ME, Yang Y, Longini IM. Transmissibility and pathogenicity of Ebola virus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of household secondary attack rate and asymptomatic infection. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2016 May 15;62(10):1277-86.

Summary: This systematic review includes a meta-analysis of data about Ebola virus (EV) transmission in households and presents estimates of the asymptomatic proportion of the virus from serosurveys, using data from outbreaks mostly before the 2013 to 2016 West African outbreak.

Of nine studies included, there was no evidence of a significant difference in secondary attack rate (SAR) between EV subtypes, but a significant inverse relationship was found between outbreak year and household SAR for reports between 1976 and 2014. In the absence of direct patient contact, very little EV transmission occurred, and risks seem highest for those providing direct care.

The proportion of infections leading to asymptomatic illness, otherwise known as the subclinical/ asymptomatic proportion, is not clearly understood. The literature was reviewed for information from serosurveys measuring EV-specific antibodies,

 

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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