An experimental Ebola vaccine has been found to be safe for use after being tested in South Africa. The two vaccines are going to be utilized against Ebola and the Marburg virus, both belonging to the same virus family.
Dr Julie Ledgerwood , the leader of the research team from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said “This is the first study to show comparable safety and protection of an experimental Ebola vaccine in an African population.”
“This is particularly encouraging because those at greatest risk of Ebola live primarily in Africa, and diminished vaccine protection in African populations has been seen for other diseases.”
Scientists from the NAIAD developed the DNA based vaccines from both Zaire and Sudan strains, including the Marburg virus protein.
The Ebola virus has now claimed more than 7000 lives in three African nations and the results of these trials are very crucial to preventing the deadly virus from creating more havoc.
The components of the exterior proteins of the virus are incorporated into the vaccines. During the test, the vaccines proved very effective at protecting primates based on non-human origins. The Makerere University Walter Reed Program were where the first phase of the tests were carried out on 108 able bodied adult Ugandan participants between ages 18 and 50. This was between November 2009 and April 2010. The participants were given injections at the start of one of the two, Ebola or Marburg, vaccines including a placebo in a random fashion. This was repeated after 4 weeks, and repeated again after another 8 weeks passed by.
The results were that 17 out of 30 participants, 57%, developed an antibody response to the Ebola Zaire Protein four weeks after the third injection. Among those who received injections from both Ebola and Marburg vaccines, 14 out of 30, or about 46.6%, developed the same resistance to both viruses.
The results only granted a resistance for about eleven months. Ugandan adults who received both the DNA based vaccines reacted well with comparable results to local and systemic response in all groups.
There was only one unexpected result reported, but was believed to be unrelated to the vaccine.
A more effective vaccine is now being tested based on an improvement from the ones just tested. This is a giant leap in battling the disease and stopping its highly fatal effects.