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Principal Investigators: Jan Jacobs, ITM & Octavie Lunguya, INRB

Principal Investigators Jan Jacobs (R) & Octavie Lunguya (L)


The study explores the potential contribution of bacterial co-infections to case fatalities  in Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs).  Using blood culture expertise available through an ongoing surveillance project in DRC, the study will pilot clinical bacteriology tools (bacterial blood cultures, biomarkers) to study bacterial bloodstream infection in EVD patients.

Octavie Lunguya

Principal Investigator

We are firmly encouraged by the positive reactions of on-site clinicians and the DRC health authorities. In addition to clinical care, our findings will also contribute to understanding and preventing healthcare-associated infection in ETC-admitted patients, thereby also strengthening communities' confidence in the ETC care.

Jan Jacobs

Principal Investigator

Finding out if and how bacterial infections affect patients' course when at the Ebola Treatment Centers will improve individual patient care by early diagnosis and directed antibiotic treatment. In addition, the cumulative data will provide evidence to adapt empiric antibiotic treatment guidelines.

Expected Outcomes

The study results will inform appropriate antibiotic treatment in an EVD setting and potentially improve patient outcomes. Results will contribute to the overall evidence base about hypothesised bacterial translocation in the gut as a cause of bloodstream infection in EVD patients; provide evidence about the occurrence of healthcare-acquired infections in ETC settings; and inform development of improved infection prevention and control measures. Results will be shared with clinicians involved in the current outbreak, informally organised under the leadership of WHO, Ministry of Health and INRB; and be used to amend (if needed) the current care guidelines.

Research Methodology (brief summary)

Observational study, collecting prospectively data from the pilot implementation of clinical bacteriology tools (bacterial blood cultures, biomarkers: C-Reactive Protein, Procalcitonin and white blood cell differential count,  and early warning scores) as part of EVD care in the currently ongoing Ebola outbreak in N-Kivu and Ituri.

The laboratory work will be done in the EVD field laboratories run by INRB.

Latest Updates

Poster: study results

Jul 2021

This poster summarises the aim, methods and results of the study. It concludes that a biosafe blood culture system can be integrated into the Ebola care response in the field, and that there is need for further research.


Poster: blood culture system adaptation to field laboratories

Jul 2021

The study team share how they piloted and demonstrated the practicality of a bacterial blood culture laboratory work-up system tailored to the conditions and biosafety requirements of Ebola field laboratories.


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