Researchers, using a genomic analysis, have confirmed the first case of sexually transmitted Ebola. A woman in Liberia contracted the deadly Ebola virus early this year after having sexual intercourse with a male survivor of the disease.
According to researchers, the work provides molecular evidence of Ebola virus (EBOV) transmission between an Ebola virus disease survivor and his female partner. The findings were a result of collaboration between US Army scientists with the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBR).
Scientists working at the LIBR earlier this year analyzed blood samples from a female patient who tested positive for EBOV in March 2015 when there had been no new documented cases for 30 days, said Suzanne Mate of USAMRIID (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases).
The patient was reported to have had recent sexual intercourse with a male partner who had survived EVD and had been declared EBOV negative in early October 2014.
Following the patient’s death on March 27, public health officials were able to secure the consent of the male survivor to obtain and test a semen sample from him.
“Ebola virus genomes assembled from the patient’s blood and the survivor’s semen were consistent with direct transmission,” Jason Ladner of USAMRIID said.