Ebola Virus Vaccine May Protect Against Sudan and Zaire Species
Mar 11, 2006 - 8:36:37 PM

Researchers from South Carolina and Maryland have developed a bivalent vaccine that may protect against both the Sudan and Zaire species of Ebola virus. Their findings appear in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Virology.

Ebola virus (EBOV) causes a severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates resulting in death in 90% of those infected. Two particular species, Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV) and Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV), have been responsible for the deadly human outbreaks that have occurred in Africa. To date, outbreaks have been limited to this region, however increasing international travel and bioterrorist threats have reinforced the need for an effective and swift acting vaccine.

In the study researchers vaccinated mice with a bivalent vaccine, containing both SEBOV and ZEBOV genes, and found that vaccination led to efficient induction of EBOV antibody and immune responses to both species. In addition, a group of immunized mice were challenged with a lethal dose of ZEBOV and the survival rate was 100%.

"To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a bivalent EBOV vaccine to coexpress multiple serotype proteins in a single vaccine construct, eliciting efficient humoral and cellular immune responses to both SEBOV and ZEBOV antigens," say the researchers.

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