Tags: ebola | mice | research | vaccine

'Ebola Mice' Developed to Fast-Track Vaccine Research

By    |   Friday, 31 October 2014 03:18 PM

In the war against Ebola, scientists have just scored a major battlefield victory. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed the first genetic strain of mice that can be infected with the virus and display symptoms similar to what humans experience — providing a new way to test antiviral drugs.
The work, published in journal Science, is a giant step forward in the effort to develop new Ebola treatments and vaccines, which are needed to curb the current outbreak.
"You can't look for a cure for Ebola unless you have an animal model that mimics the Ebola virus disease spectra," said Ralph Baric, professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC School of Medicine. "For the first time, we were able to produce a novel platform for rapidly developing new mouse models that replicate human disease for this virus, as well as other important emerging human pathogens."
Typical laboratory mice usually do not develop human-like Ebola disease. So the UNC team, working with researchers from the University of Washington and the National Institute of Health, were able to breed together eight genetically engineered mice that allowed them to test potential Ebola vaccines and treatments.
Co-author Mark Heise, professor of genetics at the UNC School of Medicine, called the new research “a tremendous program with big dividends."

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Researchers have developed the first genetic strain of mice that can be infected with Ebola and used to test new drugs and treatments.
ebola, mice, research, vaccine
Friday, 31 October 2014 03:18 PM
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