Ebola Vaccine – Researchers are progressing against the Ebola virus by developing a new vaccine.
Health experts are excited about the progress they have made towards a preliminary antibody against the deadly virus that is 80 percent effective in mice.
EBOV causes severe disease in humans and in nonhuman primates in the form of viral hemorrhagic fever. It is a Select Agent, World Health Organization Risk Group 4 Pathogen (requiring Biosafety Level 4-equivalent containment), National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Category A Priority Pathogen, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category A Bioterrorism Agent, and listed as a Biological Agent for Export Control by the Australia Group.
Ebola is a feared future weapon of bioterrorism because it usually kills its victims by overwhelming the immune system, causing multiple organ failure and bleeding to death.
It first emerged 35 years ago and there is still no antibody for human protection. Apparently, none go the victims were able to survive in long-term storage as part of a national stockpile to be kept in case of use in an attack.
However, Arizona scientists are now reporting that they have created a vaccine that fuses an antibody with tobacco plants. This could potentially yield a more resistant antibody.
The researcher took part of a protein from the surface of the virus and melded it to an antibody that recognizes the viral protein to produce the vaccine in tobacco plants.
Then the plant-derived immune complex was injected into the mice along with PIC, another immune boosting chemical.
A remarkable 8 out of 10 pre-treated mice survived a subsequent Ebola infection. Those mice that did not receive the antibody prior to being infected died.