Tuesday February 19, 2019

Ebola vaccine found effective against new strain

0
//
www.ibtimes.com
www.firstpost.com
www.firstpost.com

New York: A single dose of an experimental Ebola virus (EBOV) vaccine completely protects monkeys against the newly emerged West African Ebola strain when given at least seven days before exposure, and partially protects them if given three days prior, says a new study.

The experimental vaccine is currently undergoing testing in a global clinical trial in humans.

The current Ebola outbreak has killed over 11,000 people mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The positive results of this study further reveal the mechanisms by which an effective immune response is mounted against the Ebola virus, aspects of which have been unclear.

The live-attenuated vaccine, VSV-EBOV, uses genetically engineered vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) to carry an EBOV gene that has safely induced protective immunity in macaques, the study noted.

In the study by Andrea Marzi from US National Institutes of Health (NIH) VSV-EBOV was administered to groups of macaques 28, 21, 14, seven, or three days before infection with the current outbreak strain EBOV-Makona.

No adverse effects were detectable after immunisation with the lethal dose, and the animals were then monitored for 42 days.

The control group, which was administered a vaccine known not to be effective, showed severe symptoms of Ebola and did not survive.

One animal in the day-three VSV-EBOV vaccination group also did not survive, while the other two animals in this group presented mild and moderate symptoms of Ebola but eventually cleared the virus.

All nine remaining animals in the day 28, 21, 14, and seven vaccination groups did not develop any clinical signs of disease.

(IANS)

Next Story

WHO Makes Progress In Controlling Ebola In Congo

In addition, 2,600 health care workers in Uganda have been vaccinated.

0
Ebola, COngo
Health workers treat an unconfirmed Ebola patient inside a MSF (Doctors Without Borders)-supported Ebola Treatment Center (ETC) in Butembo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nov. 3, 2018. VOA

Six months after the outbreak of Ebola was declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province, the World Health Organization is expressing cautious optimism that it is making headway in controlling the spread of the deadly virus.

Latest figures reported by the WHO show 752 cases of Ebola, including 465 deaths.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, says progress in containing the spread of the virus is due to a number of public health measures, including the training of health workers on infection prevention and control, closer engagement with communities, case investigation and contact tracing.

Ebola
Medical staff are sterilized before entering the isolation unit at a hospital in Bundibugyo, western Uganda, on Aug. 17, 2018, where there is one suspected case of Ebola. VOA

She says the use of a vaccine and promising new drugs have been a boon to these efforts.

“I feel optimistic,” Moeti said. “I am very clear that we need to continue this work. We need to make sure that in the places where we have made progress, we build on this progress and we do not go back. And, we are being very, very conscious of the fact that we need to invest to improve the preparedness both in the DRC areas that are highest at risk and, most importantly, in the surrounding countries that are at risk.”

Ebola, mother
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) workers talk to a worker at an isolation facility, prepared to receive suspected Ebola cases, at the Mbandaka General Hospital, in Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 20, 2018. VOA

The risk of the virus spreading to countries like Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan is very high because of the heavy cross-border traffic among the countries, Moeti said. However, she added, surveillance and preparedness activities have been enhanced on both sides of the border.

Also Read: WHO Calls for Accelerated Action To Eliminate Cervical Cancer

She says there is extensive monitoring at border crossings and improvements have been made in screening people for the virus. In addition, 2,600 health care workers in Uganda have been vaccinated. Moeti said a similar vaccination campaign began two days ago in South Sudan. (VOA)