Tags: First | Vaccine | For | Ebola-Type | Virus

First Vaccine For Ebola-Type Virus

Thursday, 27 April 2006 12:00 AM

An effective vaccine against deadly Ebola-type viruses is on the horizon.

So far Army scientists have developed a usable vaccine against the lethal Marburg virus in monkeys. Next they will try a vaccine against monkey Ebola. And they hope to have a vaccine for human Marburg and Ebola within a year.

The monkey Marburg vaccine was created using a harmless virus known as vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV. The researchers took out one gene and replaced it with a key gene from Marburg virus.

When they infected monkeys with Marburg and then administered the vaccine, the monkeys were protected and stayed healthy, said Thomas Geisbert of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Unvaccinated monkeys died within 10 to 12 days.

"We were very surprised," Geisbert said.

Marburg virus killed more than 300 people -- 90 percent of those infected -- in Angola last year. Ebola is usually somewhat less deadly and killed 254 people between 2001 and 2005 in Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There is no cure for either diseases, both caused by a family of viruses known as filoviruses. They lead to a particularly nasty form of hemorrhagic fever and victims usually die of multiple organ failure and shock.

Geisbert's team worked with colleagues at the National Microbiology Laboratory at the Public Health Agency of Canada. The results appear in the Lancet medical journal.

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An effective vaccine against deadly Ebola-type viruses is on the horizon. So far Army scientists have developed a usable vaccine against the lethal Marburg virus in monkeys. Next they will try a vaccine against monkey Ebola.And they hope to have a vaccine for human...
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2006-00-27
Thursday, 27 April 2006 12:00 AM
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