A coalition of research institutions published a report in the Clinical Infectious Disease Journal on Wednesday that analyzed the immune responses of Ebola patients treated in the United States.
The coalition includes the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), the Emory University School of Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The report, titled “Kinetic Analysis of Biomarkers in a Cohort of U.S. Patients with Ebola Virus Disease,” is a first-of-its-kind Ebola study that yielded clues to how some people are able to survive the deadly virus and suggested possible avenues for new treatments.
“These findings are encouraging and underscore how crucial it is to continue the fight against Ebola,” Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said. “We must come up with new ways to keep people safe and combat diseases that threaten our health.”
The study represents the first time researchers have been able to study Ebola virus disease (EVD) using samples take from patients during both their illness and recovery. Researchers tracked 54 different markers of immune-system activity in seven U.S. patients, ranging from their hospital admission to their eventual discharge. Among the patients, five had moderate EVD and two had severe EVD requiring specialized medical ventilation and dialysis.
Ebola virus is a severe infection that can include fever, diarrhea and unexplained bleeding. EVD is responsible for more than 30,000 infections since 1976.