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Ebola/Marburg Vaccine Development
Building on their previous results showing that a heterologous prime-boost vaccination strategy produced strong, long-lasting immune responses in vaccinated non-human primates, scientists at the Vaccine Research Center (VRC), in collaboration with researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease (USAMRIID), developed an accelerated Ebola vaccine. The scientists tested whether the immune response mounted against the boost component alone would be sufficient to protect monkeys against Ebola infection. They discovered that monkeys vaccinated with only the boost survived—even those which received high doses of Ebola virus.
In October 2005, the VRC completed a study of the first human trial of a DNA vaccine designed to prevent Ebola infection. The trial was comprised of three vaccinations given over three months. Study participants were followed for one year. Results showed that this DNA vaccine was safe and well tolerated with no significant adverse events and was capable of inducing an immune response.
Based on previous studies showing protection in monkeys, VRC scientists have recently developed an experimental Ebola vaccine for humans encoding a mutated form of the glycoprotein in an adenovirus vector. A Phase I adenovirus vaccine trial in humans began in September 2006 and was completed in October 2008. Results show that the vaccine was safe and immunogenic in humans. The VRC is evaluating a new Ebola DNA vaccine and a Marburg DNA vaccine in Phase I and Ib studies. These studies are testing the safety and immunogenicity of candidate vaccines expressing the immunogen wild-type glycoprotein. Based on non-human primate studies, wild-type glycoprotein antigen induces that most protective immune response against an otherwise lethal Ebola virus challenge, and it represents the third generation of antigens being evaluated in clinical research studies of candidate filovirus vaccines at the VRC. Expanded clinical trials are being conducted in collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) U.S. Military HIV Research Program, Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) in Kampala, Uganda, and the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Program (IDCRP) of the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. Takes along time to load !! But will.
[link to web.archive.org]
In late 2012, Canadian scientists discovered that the deadliest form of the virus could be transmitted by air between species. They managed to prove that the virus was transmitted from pigs to monkeys without any direct contact between them, leading to fears that airborne transmission could be contributing to the wider spread of the disease in parts of Africa. Evidence was also found that pigs might be one of the reservoir hosts for the virus; the fruit bat has long been considered as the reservoir.
[link to www.bbc.co.uk]
During an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1995, seven of eight patients who received blood transfusions from convalescent individuals survived. However, this potential treatment is considered controversial.
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