Study reviews stability of RNA within Ebola virus

Ebola articles featured in journal
Ebola articles featured in journal | Courtesy of
Emerging Infectious Disease Journal recently featured a series of articles about Ebola and studies related to it, including a look at the stability of RNA within the Ebola virus using urine samples and EDTA blood samples taken from people infected with the virus.

The samples were stored in environmental conditions in West Africa. With the blood samples, RNA showed stability for a minimum of 18 days, at which time the initial cycle threshold values amounted to <30. RNA quickly disintegrated within the urine samples.

There have been only a few studies conducted by laboratories to evaluate the stability of Ebola’s RNA throughout time within gathered samples. From the few studies that have been conducted, it appears that RNA stability varies from five to 14 days when it comes to virus suspensions placed on solid surfaces and then placed in darkness. This also applies to naturally infected, nonhuman primate blood that has been stored within simulated tropical conditions as well as virus-spiked human blood.

A recent study found viral RNA within blood samples from cynomolgus macaques three weeks after the monkeys had been euthanized. The scientists stored the blood samples at room temperature for one month. The RNA was still detectable after that time.

The length of time that RNA is still detectable is important because it signifies that the virus is still transmissible.

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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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