New Ebola vaccine effective against all four virus species dangerous to humans

April 24, 2020

Infectious disease scientists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre (CCHMC) in Ohio, US, have recently tested a novel vaccine candidate for Ebola in animals, which seems to be effective against all four species of Ebola that infect humans. The new vaccine candidate doesn’t contain live vectors and instead uses spherical virus-like particle (VLP) – made with glycoproteins from the Zaire and Sudan Ebola viruses – to induce an immune reaction. Most importantly, as the new Ebola VLP vaccine doesn’t have genetic material and can’t multiply, it won’t cause illness as a side effect.

The researchers found that the VLP vaccine generated strong immune responses in tests on rabbits and rhesus macaques; further preclinical testing will need to be conducted before clinical trials can begin.

CCHMC’s Dr. Karnail Singh, one of the principal investigators of the study, said, “This could be a significant advancement in the global effort to prevent or manage Ebola outbreaks, especially if this vaccine […] results in long-term and durable protective immunity against different Ebola viruses.”

Efforts for developing treatments for the Ebola virus were bumped up after a nasty outbreak occurred between 2013 and 2016 in West Africa. Since then, the most promising vaccine is rVSV-ZEBOV, which is reported to have an almost 100% effectiveness rate against the Zaire species of Ebola; although this vaccine is very effective against this most dangerous Ebola species, it has limited ability to fight off the other three species.


Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

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