Management of accidental exposure to Ebola virus in the biosafety Level 4 Laboratory, Hamburg, Germany

Stephan Günther, Heinz Feldmann, Thomas W. Geisbert, Lisa E. Hensley, Pierre E. Rollin, Stuart T. Nichol, Ute Ströher, Harvey Artsob, Clarence J. Peters, Thomas G. Ksiazek, Stephan Becker, Jan Ter Meulen, Stephan Ölschläger, Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, Hinrich Sudeck, Gerd D. Burchard, Stefan Schmiedel

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103 Scopus citations


A needlestick injury occurred during an animal experiment in the biosafety level 4 laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, in March 2009. The syringe contained Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) mixed with Freund's adjuvant. Neither an approved treatment nor a postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) exists for Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Following a risk-benefit assessment, it was recommended the exposed person take an experimental vaccine that had shown PEP efficacy in ZEBOV-infected nonhuman primates (NHPs) [12]. The vaccine, which had not been used previously in humans, was a live-attenuated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (recVSV) expressing the glycoprotein of ZEBOV. A single dose of 5 × 10 7 plaque-forming units was injected 48 hours after the accident. The vaccinee developed fever 12 hours later and recVSV viremia was detectable by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for 2 days. Otherwise, the person remained healthy, and ZEBOV RNA, except for the glycoprotein gene expressed in the vaccine, was never detected in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells during the 3-week observation period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S785-S790
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Günther, S., Feldmann, H., Geisbert, T. W., Hensley, L. E., Rollin, P. E., Nichol, S. T., Ströher, U., Artsob, H., Peters, C. J., Ksiazek, T. G., Becker, S., Ter Meulen, J., Ölschläger, S., Schmidt-Chanasit, J., Sudeck, H., Burchard, G. D., & Schmiedel, S. (2011). Management of accidental exposure to Ebola virus in the biosafety Level 4 Laboratory, Hamburg, Germany. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 204(SUPPL. 3), S785-S790.