Scientists in Philadelphia develop promising vaccine against Ebola

October 12, 2018

Scientists at The Wistar Institute Vaccine and Immunotherapy Centers have created a synthetic DNA vaccine that is showing immediate and long-term encouraging results against the Ebola virus in preclinical animal research.

The vaccine targets a virus surface protein called glycoprotein, according the findings published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

First appearing in 1976, The Zaire Ebola virus is transmitted from animals and spreads through human-human transmission. Infection causes a severe hemorrhagic fever with approximately 50% mortality.

“Synthetic non-viral based DNA technology allows for rapid vaccine development by delivery directly into the skin, resulting in consistent, potent and rapid immunity compared to traditional vaccine approaches,” said lead researcher Dr. David B. Weiner, executive vice president and director of Wistar’s Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center.

“An anti-Ebola virus DNA vaccine like this may provide an important new tool for protection, and we are excited to see what future studies will unveil.”

Other experimental vaccines are being developed, but may have with side effects and might not be administrable to vulnerable people, including children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised individuals. On top of that, these experiments have yet see long-term protection.

The current developed vaccine has showed strong immune responses immediately and one year after the last dose in animals.A shorter, dose-sparing, immunization regimen was administered directly into the skin. The detected antibody levels were equal to or higher than those reported for other vaccines being evaluated in the clinic.

“The success of intradermal delivery of a low-dose regimen is very encouraging,” said Dr. Ami Patel, an associate staff scientist at the Wistar Institute.

“The ultimate goal of our work is to create effective and safe vaccines that are optimized for field use in at-risk areas.”

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Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

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