Ebola vaccine ‘promising’ after trials

US- The first human trial of an experimental vaccine against Ebola suggests that it is safe and may help the immune system to combat the virus, scientists have said.

Twenty volunteers were immunised in the US. Scientists at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) described the results as “promising”.

The research is published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
None of those immunised suffered major side-effects and all produced antibodies.

Dr Anthony Fauci of the NIH said: “On safety and on the ability to produce an appropriate immune response we can call this trial an unqualified success, even though it was an early Phase One trial.”

The volunteers were divided into two groups, receiving either a low or high dose. The antibody response was stronger among those receiving the higher dose.

The investigators found that seven of the high dose and two of the lose dose volunteers produced T-cell immune responses, which may be important in protection against Ebola viruses.

The vaccine uses a chimpanzee cold virus which has been genetically engineered to carry a non-infectious Ebola protein on its surface.
There are four trials underway of this experimental vaccine.

The US vaccine is bivalent – aimed at giving protection against the Sudan and Zaire strains of Ebola. It is the latter which is responsible for the current outbreak.

“It will be this large Phase Two Three trial in west Africa which will show whether the vaccine works and is really safe,” Dr Fauci said.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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