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During the operations of the ”European Mobile Laboratories“ (EMLabs) in the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic, blood samples were taken from 157 Ebola patients shortly after hospital admission. We compared the immune responses between patients who survived and those who died in the course of the infection.
While the numbers of activated helper T lymphocytes and cytotoxic T lymphocytes were found to be similarly elevated in both groups, patients with a fatal outcome had substantially higher serum concentrations of molecules (cytokines) that cause inflammatory reactions and strongly increased numbers of molecules that inhibit lymphocyte activation (CTLA-4, PD-1) on their lymphocytes. Apparently, fatal courses of human Ebola infections are accompanied by a combination of a strong inflammatory reaction and T-lymphocyte dysregulation.
Paula Ruibal, Lisa Oestereich, Anja Lüdtke, Beate Becker-Ziaja, David M. Wozniak, Romy Kerber, Mar Cabeza-Cabrerizo, Sophie Dura ff our, Elisa Pallasch, Tobias Holm, Th omas Jacobs, Benno Kreuels, Martin Gabriel, Stephan Günther, César Muñoz-Fontela and external cooperation partners (see publication)