Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Experimental Vaccine Protects Monkeys against Ebola Virus

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Experimental Vaccine Protects Monkeys against Ebola Virus

Article excerpt

Scientists have created a two-part vaccine that bas protected monkeys from the deadly Ebola virus, they reported in the 30 November 2000 issue of Nature.

One part of the vaccine consists of DNA, "naked DNA", coding for several Ebola virus proteins from the three strains of the virus -- Zaire, Sudan, and Ivory Coast -- known to cause disease in humans. This part is given in three monthly injections to "prime" the immune system of the vaccine recipient. The second part consists of an adenovirus, divested of its disease-causing potential, that carries a Zaire Ebola gene -- one of the same genes contained in the prime part of the vaccine -- into the cells of the vaccinated host. This second part of the vaccine, given 12 weeks after the initial priming series of injections, is designed to boost the immune response.

In the study, which was conducted by a group headed by Gary J. Nabel, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, the "prime-boost" DNA vaccine protected all four vaccinated monkeys against lethal doses of the Zaire strain of Ebola virus. …

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