Potential link found between Ebola survival, malaria co-infection
Researchers at an Ebola diagnostic laboratory located in Liberia saw this pattern even more notably after they looked at the survival difference -- even while accounting for Ebola viral age and load.
In addition, higher amounts of Plasmodium parasites are also connected to higher rates of surviving Ebola.
There were 1,868 blood samples involved in the study. These were taken from people who sought treatments for potential Ebola infections in Monrovia. Testing was positive for Ebola in 1,182 of the samples. Of the samples, 185 tested positively for Plasmodium parasites.
Results showed that 58 percent of people who had both of these infections survived. Among the people who had only Ebola, 46 percent of them survived. Additionally, 83 percent of people with Plasmodium infections survived.
During the Ebola outbreak, doctors administered anti-malaria drugs to all of the patients who visited the clinic. Unfortunately, these drugs did not improve the survival rates of the patients with Plasmodium infections in the study. Additionally, the drugs did not improve survival rates for laboratory mice with Ebola infections.
Organizations in this story
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806 Bethesda, MD 20892-9806