• Ebola virus;
  • mobile laboratory;
  • outbreak response;
  • Q-RT-PCR


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.