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J Infect Dis. 2017 Jun 15;215(12):1799-1806. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jix236.

Development, Use, and Impact of a Global Laboratory Database During the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa.

Author information

1
World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
2
University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
3
Ministry of Health, Singapore.
4
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
5
Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
6
Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene.
7
World Health Organization, Brazzaville, Congo.
8
World Health Organization, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
9
World Health Organization.
10
World Health Organization, Monrovia, Liberia.
11
National Reference Laboratory, Conakry, Guinea.

Abstract

Background:

The international impact, rapid widespread transmission, and reporting delays during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa highlighted the need for a global, centralized database to inform outbreak response. The World Health Organization and Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network addressed this need by supporting the development of a global laboratory database.

Methods:

Specimens were collected in the affected countries from patients and dead bodies meeting the case definitions for Ebola virus disease. Test results were entered in nationally standardized spreadsheets and consolidated onto a central server.

Results:

From March 2014 through August 2016, 256343 specimens tested for Ebola virus disease were captured in the database. Thirty-one specimen types were collected, and a variety of diagnostic tests were performed. Regular analysis of data described the functionality of laboratory and response systems, positivity rates, and the geographic distribution of specimens.

Conclusion:

With data standardization and end user buy-in, the collection and analysis of large amounts of data with multiple stakeholders and collaborators across various user-access levels was made possible and contributed to outbreak response needs. The usefulness and value of a multifunctional global laboratory database is far reaching, with uses including virtual biobanking, disease forecasting, and adaption to other disease outbreaks.

KEYWORDS:

Disease outbreaks; Ebola; databases; hemorrhagic fever; laboratories

PMID:
28520958
PMCID:
PMC5853555
DOI:
10.1093/infdis/jix236
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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