Ebola Virus Disease Diagnostics, Sierra Leone: Analysis of Real-time Reverse Transcription–Polymerase Chain Reaction Values for Clinical Blood and Oral Swab Specimens

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During the Ebola virus outbreak of 2013–2016, the Viral Special Pathogens Branch field laboratory in Sierra Leone tested approximately 26 000 specimens between August 2014 and October 2015. Analysis of the B2M endogenous control Ct values showed its utility in monitoring specimen quality, comparing results with different specimen types, and interpretation of results. For live patients, blood is the most sensitive specimen type and oral swabs have little diagnostic utility. However, swabs are highly sensitive for diagnostic testing of corpses.

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