Scientists advance Ebola, HIV treatment options 17 Jan
EBOLA VERSUS HIV PHOTO CREDIT: ebolavirusvideos.org
Scientists have advanced treatment options for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV).
They have developed a new medication that in one dose successfully protected nonhuman primates against a lethal infection of all strains of the deadly Ebola virus. The findings are now available in Cell Host & Microbe.
Dr. Thomas Geisbert, a world-renowned Ebola researcher at The University of Texas Medical Branch, said that previous therapeutics typically were of the “one bug, one drug” variety. But because of the unpredictable nature and variety of the Ebola virus, scientists have been seeking a way to protect against different strains of the virus.
“Our experimental drug can protect against all forms of Ebola known to harm people, suggesting that it will continue to protect people if the Ebola viruses evolve over time,” said Geisbert, who is a professor of microbiology and immunology at UTMB.
The team of scientists demonstrated that a two-antibody cocktail called MBP134 could fully protect nonhuman primates and ferrets against lethal Ebola virus infections of caused by the Bundibugyo and Sudan strain as well as the deadliest Zaire strain that caused the 2013-16 epidemic in West Africa and the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We were able to protect the nonhuman primates against all the Ebola species plaguing people at a single low dose,” said Larry Zeitlin, president of Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. “Further studies exploring even lower doses could open the door to treatment via auto-injectors like the kind used for allergic reactions. The ability to quickly and efficiently provide protection against all Ebola viruses in a single dose would reduce the burden on health care workers in the field during outbreaks, especially in regions that have a less-developed infrastructure.”
A new high-throughput, miniature, portable sequencing technique has been developed in recent years, for human and animal health purposes. It uses mobile laboratories to diagnose viruses such as Ebola or Zika almost instantly, in the field. Diagnosis is both quick and early, which avoids the need to transfer contaminated samples.
Mobile, instant diagnosis of plant viruses, to back up epidemiosurveillance networks
As with human virology, the fact that the technique has now been validated in a plant virology laboratory paves the way for real-time, mobile detection of chronic, seasonal or emerging plant viruses, even in isolated areas. By shortening the time that elapses between sampling and diagnosis, the technology will help epidemiosurveillance networks detect harmful organisms at an earlier stage.
Also, scientists have developed a combination of monoclonal antibodies that protected animals from all three Ebola viruses that cause human disease. The antibody ‘cocktail,’ called MBP134, is the first experimental treatment to protect monkeys against Ebola virus (formerly known as Ebola Zaire), as well as Sudan virus and Bundibugyo virus, and could lead to a broadly effective therapeutic.
Scientists from academia, industry, and government have developed a combination of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that protected animals from all three Ebola viruses known to cause human disease.
Their work is described in two companion studies published online in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.
The mAb “cocktail,” called MBP134, is the first experimental treatment to protect monkeys against Ebola virus (formerly known as Ebola Zaire), as well as Sudan virus and Bundibugyo virus, and could lead to a broadly effective therapeutic, according to the authors.
Over 20 Ebola virus outbreaks have occurred since the first outbreak was documented in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC (formerly called Zaire). The 2013-2016 Ebola epidemic in Western Africa — the largest outbreak to date — sickened more than 28,000 people and caused more than 11,000 deaths. An ongoing outbreak in the ea