Although neutralizing antibody titers in human convalescent sera can, if at all, only barely be detected in laboratory tests, there are anecdotal case reports suggesting the potential benefit of passive immunization against Ebola virus infection. Furthermore, recent reports from the 1995 outbreak in Zaire about effective treatment of acutely ill patients with whole blood transfusions from convalescent donors suggest that quantities of antibodies, predicted to be marginally effective in laboratory tests, may still be protective. There is experimental evidence that active immunization employing killed virus, recombinant expressed glycoprotein, and recombinant gene 4 (GP)-DNA (DNA vaccination) is partially successful in animals, suggesting that these may be feasible strategies to elicit protective immunity. At present, however, vaccines for human application are not available. A specific chemotherapeutic treatment is not available to date, but knowledge of the expected clinical course can anticipate medical complications, including disseminated intravascular coagulation, shock, encephalomyelitis, cerebral edema, kidney failure, superinfection, hypoxia and hypotension. Patients have to be isolated and clinical personal to be protected. Human interferon, human convalescent plasma and anticoagulation therapy has been used, but their success is still controversial.
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