Feeds

Scientists closer to Ebola and Marburg vaccines

Don't book that African holiday yet though

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Researchers in the US and Canada have developed vaccines that protect monkeys against the Ebola and Marburg viruses. Further testing in the next five years will show whether the vaccines can be safe and effective for humans, but the researchers are optimistic. It is the first hint of a vaccine for Marburg virus.

The research, published in Nature Medicine this weekend, suggests that the vaccines raise the chance of surviving the highly contagious diseases to around 80 per cent.

Currently, the vast majority of those who contract either disease will die, and because of the way they are transmitted, (by blood, sweat and saliva), those caring for the sick run a very high risk of becoming ill themselves. The World Heath Organisation reports that an outbreak of Marburg disease in Angola that began in late March 2005, had killed 335 of the 399 people who were infected by 27 May.

The researchers at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba, began by testing their vaccine on rodents. The team created the vaccine by replacing a protein in an animal virus with a protein from the Ebola and Marburg viruses.

The next step was to move to primates, with the help of the US Army. The Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease in Maryland vaccinated the monkeys, and the four weeks later, injected them with the viruses. The monkeys survived the tests.

Because of the similarity between the way the diseases affect monkeys and humans, the researchers are now hopeful that the vaccines will work for us too.

Steven Jones, a scientist involved in the study, told Reuters: "Monkeys, when they are infected, suffer almost the identical disease to humans. If we can protect them using this vaccine ... then this gives us a good deal of confidence that this will work in humans." ®

Related stories

Bird flu: we're all going to die
Gates pledges extra $250m for world health
Gates pledges $750m for child vaccines

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.