Autoimmune Technologies - Applied Biomedical Science

Lassa Hemorrhagic Fever

Lassa hemorrhagic fever is a disease that is endemic in West Africa, where every year it is estimated to routinely infect 300,000 to 500,000 people per year and cause approximately 5,000 deaths. During some seasons, the case-fatality rate can reach 50%. The Lassa fever virus, which is normally spread by a single species of West African rodent, is considered to be a potential bioweapon which could be used against countries on other continents. Led by Tulane virologist Dr. Robert F. Garry, the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, or VHFC (, has been studying Lassa fever in West Africa for many years.

Under a biodefense challenge grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and with subsequent additional NIH support, the VHFC has developed an ELISA test kit and is developing other tests and Lassa-related products using new recombinant viral proteins and monoclonal antibodies. The ELISA kits are manufactured by VHFC member Corgenix Medical Corporation and have successfully completed initial clinical testing to diagnose Lassa fever in Sierra Leone. A Corgenix news release describing the Lassa ELISA test kit can be found on the Corgenix Web site here: Corgenix Release 1Apr2014.

Autoimmune believes that the new VHFC diagnostic and detection products could have a significant impact on health care in West Africa and also fill a critical gap in bioterrorism defense.

This material is not intended to take the place of a physician's advice.


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