Flexibility of Mobile Laboratory Unit in Support of Patient Management During the 2007 Ebola-Zaire Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Authors

  • A. Grolla,

    1.  Special Pathogens, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • S. Jones,

    1.  Special Pathogens, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • G. Kobinger,

    1.  Special Pathogens, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada
    2.  Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • A. Sprecher,

    1.  Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels Area, Belgium
    Search for more papers by this author
  • G. Girard,

    1.  Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Franceville, Gabon
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. Yao,

    1.  Special Pathogens, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • C. Roth,

    1.  World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • H. Artsob,

    1.  Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • H. Feldmann,

    1.  Special Pathogens, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada
    2.  Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Present address: Laboratory of Virology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health, Hamilton, Montana, USA.

  • J. E. Strong

    1.  Special Pathogens, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada
    2.  Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
    3.  Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

James E. Strong. NML, PHAC, 1015 Arlington St, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3E 3R2. Tel.: 204 789 7032; Fax: 204 789 2140; E-mail: jim_strong@phac-aspc.gc.ca
and
Heinz Feldmann. Laboratory of Virology, NIH, 903 South 4th St, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA. Tel.: 406 375 7410; Fax: 406 375 7416; E-mail: feldmannH@niaid.nih.gov

Summary

The mobile laboratory provides a safe, rapid and flexible platform to provide effective diagnosis of Ebola virus as well as additional differential diagnostic agents in remote settings of equatorial Africa. During the 2007 Democratic Republic of Congo outbreak of Ebola-Zaire, the mobile laboratory was set up in two different locations by two separate teams within a day of equipment arriving in each location. The first location was in Mweka where our laboratory took over the diagnostic laboratory space of the local hospital, whereas the second location, approximately 50 km south near Kampungu at the epicentre of the outbreak, required local labour to fabricate a tent structure as a suitable pre-existing structure was not available. In both settings, the laboratory was able to quickly set up, providing accurate and efficient molecular diagnostics (within 3 h of receiving samples) for 67 individuals, including four cases of Ebola, seven cases of Shigella and 13 cases of malaria. This rapid turn-around time provides an important role in the support of patient management and epidemiological surveillance.

Ancillary