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The last seven years have seen the greatest surge of Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases in equatorial Africa, including the 2013-2016 epidemic in West Africa and the recent epidemics in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The vaccine clinical trials that took place in West Africa and the DRC, as well as follow-up studies in collaboration with EVD survivor communities, have for the first time allowed researchers to compare immune memory induced by natural infection and vaccination. These comparisons may be relevant to evaluate the putative effectiveness of vaccines and candidate medical countermeasures such as convalescent plasma transfer. In this study, we compared the long-term functionality of anti-EBOV glycoprotein (GP) antibodies from EVD survivors with that from volunteers who received the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus vectored vaccine (rVSV-ZEBOV) during the Phase I clinical trial in Hamburg. Our study highlights important differences between EBOV vaccination and natural infection and provides a framework for comparison with other vaccine candidates.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





Division of Infectious Diseases, 1st Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251 Hamburg, Germany.


Humans, Vesiculovirus, Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola, Immunoglobulins, Viral Envelope Proteins, Ebola Vaccines, Antibodies, Viral, Vaccination, Viral Load, Immunologic Memory, Adult, Survivors, Female, Male, Ebolavirus, Antibodies, Neutralizing