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Ebola Virus Thwarted After Exposure

Successful treatment in monkeys offers hope for humans, researchers say

FRIDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers report that they've disrupted the ability of the Ebola virus to replicate in monkeys, potentially suggesting a treatment for humans who get infected with the lethal disease.

The study is the first to show that the treatment helps monkeys after exposure to the Ebola virus. Previous research showed that it worked when given as a vaccine before exposure.

The study, reported by Thomas W. Geisbert of Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues, focuses on bits of genetic material that target a protein that the virus needs to reproduce.

The notoriously deadly Ebola virus, found in Africa, causes massive bleeding and kills as many as 90 percent of the people it infects. Earlier this month, researchers reported that they'd created a vaccine that protects monkeys against three strains of the virus.

The findings were published May 27 in The Lancet.

More information

For more on research on Ebola fever and other acute viral diseases, see the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: The Lancet, press release, May 27, 2010

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