l. Today Dr. Pardis Sabeti at The Broad Institute at Harvard released two exciting EBOV announcements on her Facebook account. Her lab sequenced the EBOV genome in Sierra Leone last summer (Gire, et. al. in Science). See her ‘good news’ below
START OF ANNOUNCEMENTS:
(1) Chris Matranga and the team’s paper just came out in Genome Biology, describing the methods we have developed over the last several years to sequence Lassa and Ebola virus from clinical samples. These methods enabled rapid sequencing of 99 Ebola virus genomes from early in the outbreak in Sierra Leone. We hope it will help labs around the world generate more Ebola genome sequence information. Here is the Genome Biology press release: (http://www.biomedcentral.com/presscenter/pressreleases/20141118) and the link to the open access paper (http://genomebiology.com/2014/15/11/519/abstract).
(2) We have launched an exciting public-private partnership between USAID, Illumina, and the Broad Institute to rapidly scale up Ebola genomic surveillance across West Africa (http://www.broadinstitute.org/news/6209). Our partner labs in Nigeria and Senegal are preparing to receive their first machines, and to begin generating Ebola genome sequences. Christian Happi and colleague have written about the importance of ‘Empowering African genomics for infectious disease control’ in Genome Biology this week. There they also speak about the training and support enabled by the NIH H3 Africa Initiative and World Bank that has made this possible.
We thank the many individuals and organizations that have partnered with us, and look forward to connecting with the global community in our next steps.
Pardis Sabeti, MD, DPhil.
END OF ANNOUNCEMENTS
2. WHO reports today that a Cuban physician, Dr. Baez, has been air-evacuated for Geneva for EBOV treatment from Sierra Leone. Dr. Baez was flown on a U.S. Department of State airplane to Geneva. Thank you U.S. Department of State. More details tomorrow from WHO.
3. Ebola Deeply reports that another Sierra Leone physician has died of EBOV. Dr. Kargbo, a dermatologist, died in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He was not treating EBOV patients. Now 7 of 7 Sierra Leone physicians with EBOV have died of the disease.
4. The Lancet published 3 letters today related to the current EBOV epidemic in West Africa. Mackay, et. al. wrote re: EBOV in the semen of convalescent patients. These patients should abstain from sexual relations for at least 3 months after discharge from hospital. See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS1473-3099(14)71033-3/fulltext. Dhillon, et. al. wrote re: rapid diagnosis of EBOV in West Africa. Author reports if 60% of EBOV patients are diagnosed and isolated within one day of symptoms, then the attack rate in the general population is reduced from 80% to O% c/w diagnosis and isolation within 5 days of symptoms. See the Figure in: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS1473-3099(14)71035-7/fulltext. Matherone, et. al. reports a case of Influenza B presenting with the same symptomatology as EBOV in a physician who treated EBOV in West Africa. Author recommends malarial prophylaxis and influenza vaccination in West Africa to prevent an influenza epidemic which would slow greatly diagnosis of EBOV cases because of similar symptoms. See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)62226-1/fulltext.