PHILADELPHIAResearchers 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 Zare, 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
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Thomas Jefferson University