1 Jan 2015

Diagnosis of Ebola fever

Ebola viral fever is a dreaded fever with high mortality  rate, Early diagnosis of the disease is important for initiation of treatment. Following are the laboratory features. 
Laboratory findings
1. Decreased blood count initially.
2. Increase in neutrophil count later.
3.Fall in Platelet counts (sometimes much below) 50,000/┬ÁL.
4. Laboratory evidence of DIC is present but its clinical significance not known.
5. Increased  liver enzymes  alanine and aspartate aminotransferases.
7. Elevation of serum bilirubin.
8. The serum amylase level may be increased  indicating pancreatitis.
9. Deterioration of renal function can occur especially with low blood pressure .

Diagram of Ebola virus

Diagnosis
Most of the acutely sick patients will have high levels of viral load in the blood.
Methods of detection of virus include
1. ELISA is a sensitive diagnostic test.
2. Virus isolation and reverse-transcription PCR is useful.
3. Recovering patients develop antibody to ebola virus ( IgM and IgG antibodies ) that are detected by ELISA test.
4. The indirect fluorescent antibody test with paired sera is an effective test.
5. Quarantine or geographic spread is detected by Real-time PCR.
6. Skin biopsies is useful for postmortem diagnosis.

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