Renal failure in Ebola virus infection: A topic that needs further study

How to cite this article:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Renal failure in Ebola virus infection: A topic that needs further study. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2015;8:147-8


How to cite this URL:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Renal failure in Ebola virus infection: A topic that needs further study. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Apr 14];8:147-8. Available from:

Dear Sir,

The problem of the Ebola virus infection outbreak in Africa is the present global public health issue. The Ebola virus is a kind of small virus that can cause acute illness with hemorrhagic complication. The renal involvement of this infection is an interesting issue in nephrology and it is mentioned as an important complication of the infection.

However, there is extremely limited knowledge on this issue. Focusing on the currently available data on the clinical features of Ebola virus-infected cases in 2014, there is no case with complaint of or presenting signs of any kidney problem. [1] Hence, it may be assumed that renal failure occurs late in the course of Ebola virus infection.

The remaining question is what the exact pathogenesis of renal failure in Ebola virus infection is. Based on the nature of hemorrhagic fever, which is similar to dengue, a possible explanation might be a problem of hemodynamic balance that can induce renal failure. With reference to the case of hemorrhagic shock in dengue, renal failure is a common problem. [2]

Focusing on the possibility of direct renal attack of the virus, this issue is still unknown. Existing evidence shows that detection of the virus in urine is not possible. [3] However, there is a previous animal model study confirming the virus can rod into the kidney system and cause the problem to tubular section. [4] The exact pathology and pathogenesis in human-infected cases is a topic that needs further research.



Baize S, Pannetier D, Oestereich L, Rieger T, Koivogui L, Magassouba N, et al. Emergence of Zaire Ebola virus disease in Guinea – Preliminary Report. N Engl J Med 2014;371:1418-25.
Lizarraga KJ, Nayer A. Dengue-associated kidney disease. J Nephropathol 2014;3:57-62.
Onyango CO, Opoka ML, Ksiazek TG, Formenty P, Ahmed A, Tukei PM, et al. Laboratory diagnosis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever during an outbreak in Yambio, Sudan, 2004. J Infect Dis 2007;196(Suppl 2):S193-8.
Baskerville A, Fisher-Hoch SP, Neild GH, Dowsett AB. Ultrastructural pathology of experimental Ebola haemorrhagic fever virus infection. J Pathol 1985;147:199-209.

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.162405

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