A couple of new Ebola vaccines developed by an interdisciplinary team from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston and Profectus BioSciences have passed important tests after both proved effective in protecting monkeys from the strain of the virus which is responsible for the current outbreak, according to a recently published study.
In the study, which was published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers found that a single-shot of the vaccine administered to a nonhuman primate test subject was all it took to protect the primate from the deadly virus.
There were no apparent side effects to the vaccines.
Back in 2014, we reported here on Immortal News that the Ebola death toll had reached 2,900 in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization who has since reported the death toll to have exceeded 10,000 people.
A total of 10 macaques, Asian monkeys from the genus Macaca, were used in the study. While eight of the primates were vaccinated, two were left as unvaccinated controls. Of those vaccinated, none of the primates showed any signs of side effects from the vaccine.
Twenty-eight days after the vaccines were administered to the monkeys, they were all injected with the strain of the Ebola virus from the current outbreak. None of the vaccinated monkeys became ill.
Both of the unvaccinated primate test subjects exposed to the virus became ill and died within a week.
The Houston Chronicle indicated in a report that the new vaccine — of which there are two variants, a highly attenuated version and a less attenuated version which is about half of the more potent form — is the first to have been tested against the Makona strain of the virus which emerged back in early 204 and is responsible for the deaths of nearly 10,000 people.
Designed from a genetically modified and weakened vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), the new Ebola vaccine is the second-generation of a VSV vaccine developed more than a decade ago by Dr. Thomas Geisbert and Dr. Heinz Feldmann.
The vaccines were created by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded collaboration between UTMB and Baltimore-based biotech firm Profectus BioSciences.
What are your thoughts on the promising new vaccines designed to combat the spread of the deadly strain of the virus responsible for the recent Ebola outbreak which has already killed thousands of people?