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The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa was unprecedented in scale and location. Limited access to both diagnostic and supportive pathology assays in both resource-rich and resource-limited settings had a detrimental effect on the identification and isolation of cases as well as individual patient management. Limited access to such assays in resource-rich settings resulted in delays in differentiating EVD from other illnesses in returning travellers, in turn utilising valuable resources until a diagnosis could be made. This had a much greater impact in West Africa, where it contributed to the initial failure to contain the outbreak. This review explores diagnostic assays of use in EVD in both resource-rich and resource-limited settings, including their respective limitations, and some novel assays and approaches that may be of use in future outbreaks.

Original publication





PLoS neglected tropical diseases

Publication Date





Public Health Laboratory Manchester, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, United Kingdom.


Humans, Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola, Travel, Africa, Western, Ebolavirus