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In the absence of a vaccine or specific treatments for Ebola virus disease (EVD), early identification of cases is crucial for the control of EVD epidemics. We evaluated a new extraction kit (SpeedXtract (SE), Qiagen) on sera and swabs in combination with an improved diagnostic reverse transcription recombinase polymerase amplification assay for the detection of Ebola virus (EBOV-RT-RPA). The performance of combined extraction and detection was best for swabs. Sensitivity and specificity of the combined SE and EBOV-RT-RPA were tested in a mobile laboratory consisting of a mobile glovebox and a Diagnostics-in-a-Suitcase powered by a battery and solar panel, deployed to Matoto Conakry, Guinea as part of the reinforced surveillance strategy in April 2015 to reach the goal of zero cases. The EBOV-RT-RPA was evaluated in comparison to two real-time PCR assays. Of 928 post-mortem swabs, 120 tested positive, and the combined SE and EBOV-RT-RPA yielded a sensitivity and specificity of 100% in reference to one real-time RT-PCR assay. Another widely used real-time RT-PCR was much less sensitive than expected. Results were provided very fast within 30 to 60 min, and the field deployment of the mobile laboratory helped improve burial management and community engagement.


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