Patients with severe viral infections such as Lassa or Ebola may be denied adequate laboratory investigations because of justifiable fears among laboratory staff. This study in monkeys was designed to provide comprehensive haematological and biochemical monitoring in a contained environment during all stages of Ebola infection. Marked neutrophilia, depletion of lymphocytes, and early failure of platelet aggregation preceded a consumption coagulopathy with a microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia, thrombocytopenia, and failure of prostacyclin production by vascular endothelium. Liver dysfunction was moderate but in conjunction with the dehydration and hypoalbuminaemia could be expected to precipitate renal failure and shock. It seems reasonable to anticipate successful patient support with a patient management isolator and treatment with platelet transfusions, fresh frozen plasma, and possibly prostacyclin when haemostasis is defective during this otherwise self-limiting illness.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by funds from the Wellcome Trust. S. P. F-H. is a Wellcome Trust Fellow.