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Volume 22, Number 2—February 2016

Feasibility of Xpert Ebola Assay in Médecins Sans Frontières Ebola Program, Guinea

Rafael Van den BerghComments to Author , Pascale Chaillet, Mamadou Saliou Sow, Mathieu Amand, Charlotte van Vyve, Sylvie Jonckheere, Rosa Crestani, Armand Sprecher, Michel Van Herp, Arlene Chua, Erwan Piriou, Lamine Koivogui, and Annick Antierens
Author affiliations: Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Brussels, Belgium (R. Van den Bergh, P. Chaillet, R. Crestani, A. Sprecher, M. Van Herp, A. Antierens); Hôpital National Donka, Conakry, Guinea (M.S. Sow); Comité de Recherche Ebola de Guinée, Conakry (M.S. Sow); Médecins Sans Frontières, Conakry (M. Amand, C. van Vyve, S. Jonckheere); Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland (A. Chua); Institute of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, Singapore (A. Chua); Médecins Sans Frontières, Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (E. Piriou); Institut National de Santé Publique, Conakry (L. Koivogui)

Main Article

Table 4

Main user concerns for Xpert Ebola Assay at Médecins Sans Frontières Donka Ebola Treatment Center, Conakry, Guinea, May–June 2015

• There were difficulties in preventing the rim of the inactivation vial from being touched by the tip of the pipette (which was contaminated with blood). Because material on the rim is not inactivated, this situation could be a considerable biohazard; the only strategy to avoid this situation was close observation of the vial rim by laboratory staff.
• Three incidents were reported in which vials containing inactivation fluid were dropped because of difficulties in handling vials with required biosecurity gloves; no incidents occurred with sample already added.
• The decontamination process for vials and transferring these vials to a low-risk zone did not compromise assay performance.
• It was not possible to automatically export Xpert Ebola Assay data into an existing database; thus, manual coding was required.
• More detailed information on assay characteristics (e.g., PCR efficiency) was not available for users.
• Compatibility issues were identified when we attempted to set up a laboratory in which French was spoken; this problem remained unresolved throughout the study.
• Power failures could usually be corrected by an uninterrupted power supply, which could support a full Xpert Ebola Assay run without depleting >25% of the power supply. However, the computer to which the Xpert Ebola Assay was linked could not be supported by the uninterrupted power supply and ran on its own battery. On several occasions, the uninterrupted power supply was reconfigured because of daily switching between day and night generators and failed to support the assay.
• Failure of air conditioning resulted in ambient temperatures of 28°C–31°C, but this failure did not have a major effect on instruments used (manufacturer’s recommendations are to work at a temperature <30°C); only 1 run failure was observed.
• At the time of the study, insufficient information was available on storage conditions for reagents.
• Sufficient space was needed to store all equipment and consumable materials and handle chemicals (e.g., chlorine solution) for sample processing. However, the field laboratory (area ≈2.5 m × 5.5 m) was too small for storage of all materials.

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Page created: January 13, 2016
Page updated: January 13, 2016
Page reviewed: January 13, 2016
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