2017 Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Northern Democratic Republic of Congo

Justus Nsio, Jimmy Kapetshi, Sheila Makiala, Frederic Raymond, Gaston Tshapenda, Nancy Boucher, Jacques Corbeil, Antoine Okitandjate, Gisele Mbuyi, Musa Kiyele, Vital Mondonge, Marie Jose Kikoo, Michel Van Herp, Philippe Barboza, Roberta Petrucci, Guido Benedetti, Pierre Formenty, Baby Muyembe Muzinga, Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Steve AhukaHugues Fausther-Bovendo, Benoit Kebela Ilunga, Gary P. Kobinger, Jean Jacques T. Muyembe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: In 2017, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recorded its eighth Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, approximately 3 years after the previous outbreak. Methods: Suspect cases of EVD were identified on the basis of clinical and epidemiological information. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis or serological testing was used to confirm Ebola virus infection in suspected cases. The causative virus was later sequenced from a RT-PCR-positive individual and assessed using phylogenetic analysis. Results: Three probable and 5 laboratory-confirmed cases of EVD were recorded between 27 March and 1 July 2017 in the DRC. Fifty percent of cases died from the infection. EVD cases were detected in 4 separate areas, resulting in > 270 contacts monitored. The complete genome of the causative agent, a variant from the Zaireebolavirus species, denoted Ebola virus Muyembe, was obtained using next-generation sequencing. This variant is genetically closest, with 98.73% homology, to the Ebola virus Mayinga variant isolated from the first DRC outbreaks in 1976-1977. Conclusion: A single spillover event into the human population is responsible for this DRC outbreak. Human-to-human transmission resulted in limited dissemination of the causative agent, a novel Ebola virus variant closely related to the initial Mayinga variant isolated in 1976-1977 in the DRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-706
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 18 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Ebola virus
  • outbreak
  • virus sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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