Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University, among other institutions, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have developed single vaccines to protest against both rabies and the Ebola virus.
Successfully tested in mice, these bivalent vaccines have several advantages over other Ebola candidates that could help speed up development for use in humans and primates. It's built on the same platform as the already approved and financially viable rabies vaccine, and it protects at-risk populations against two viruses, not just one, making it an effective and ideal public health tool.
"Many Ebola vaccine candidates have been proven effective, but none are close to licensure," said Matthias Schnell, Ph.D., director of the Jefferson Vaccine Center. "One of the challenges is the market: There's rather limited incentive in creating a vaccine for Ebola. But these vaccines could change that."
The findings were published ahead of print online August 17 in the Journal of Virology.
The Ebola virus belongs to the Filoviridae family and is comprised of five distinct species. The Zaïre, Sudan and Bundibugyo species have been associated with large Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in Africa. According to the World Health Organization, more than a thousand people have died from the virus since it was discovered in 1976.
"Rabies still poses a health threat for people worldwide, and is especially devastating in developing nations where a post exposure treatment is often not available. And Ebola still exists in parts of Central Africa and is also a chief bioterrorism concern worldwide," said Dr. Schnell, who is also a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Thomas Jefferson University. "You can protect these people from two very lethal diseases in an area where they don't have the best access to medical care."
The purpose of this study was to identify novel vaccine candidates for Ebola with a maximum potential of licensure and utilization.
Researchers generated a chemically inactivated and live rabies virus expressing the Ebola Zaïre species glycoprotein using a reverse genetics system based on the commonly-used rabies vaccine. Immunizations with those vaccines, the researchers found, induced immunity against each virus and conferred protection from both viruses in mice.
Piggy backing, in a sense, on the rabies vaccine could accelerate development of vaccines that protects against Ebola because of the advanced state of the rabies vaccine's safety, production and distribution, according to Schnell.
"After the vaccine has been tested in primates and eventually humans, this new vaccine could kill the proverbially two birds with one stone," he said.
There are implications for nonhumans, too—gorillas, in particular. The Ebola virus has eradicated thousands of gorillas, prompting the World Conservation Union to raise their status to "critically endangered" in 2007, the first time a mammal has become critically endangered as a direct result of disease. Vaccinations, though challenging, could stall those deaths.
What's more, several human outbreaks have been attributed to primate interaction or handling, so providing a vaccine for our closest relative could minimize that risk.
Steve Graff | EurekAlert!
New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia
New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research