EBV is a member of the herpes virus family and one of the most common viruses in humans, with nearly all adults in developed countries such as the United States having been infected. EBV is often asymptomatic but commonly causes infectious mononucleosis, with 30 to 40 percent of adolescents who contract the virus developing the disease.
EBV is also associated with a number of other diseases, some of the most serious being lymphomas and other lymphoproliferative diseases in people with compromised immune systems, such as transplant patients. Despite the frequency of EBV infections and infectious mononucleosis, the new study is the first to suggest the efficacy of a vaccine in preventing infectious mononucleosis.
The study was conducted by Etienne M. Sokal, MD, PhD, and colleagues at several Belgian institutions and pharmaceutical companies. The vaccine targets glycoprotein 350, a protein that facilitates the entry of EBV into immune system cells. In this preliminary, Phase II clinical trial, 181 young adults who had not previously been infected by EBV received three doses of either a placebo or the vaccine.
During the 18-month observation period, the proportion of symptomatic EBV infections was reduced from 10 percent (nine out of 91) in the control group to 2 percent (two out of 90) in the vaccinated group, indicating that those who did not receive the vaccine were almost 5 times more likely to develop infectious mononucleosis.
With these promising results in a small group of subjects, Dr. Sokal suggested the next step should be “large-scale studies on the benefit in healthy subjects and ability to prevent acute EBV infection and post-transplant lymphoproliferative diseases in transplant patients.” He added, “There is currently no possibility to prevent or to treat acute mononucleosis, which has remained so far an unmet medical problem. This vaccine may decrease the socio-economic impact of acute mononucleosis.”
Development of an EBV vaccine has had a slow and problematic history. These results suggest that the prevention of infectious mononucleosis is possible, and provide a framework for future trials looking to prevent more serious consequences of EBV infection.
In an accompanying editorial, Henry H. Balfour, Jr., MD, of the University of Minnesota Medical School, noted the importance of such studies on EBV vaccines, especially because “the worldwide disease burden due to EBV is enormous.” Balfour agreed that these findings should stimulate future research and larger clinical trials on the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with EBV.
Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research