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Experimental Ebola Vaccine Show Promise in African Trials - Articles - Nursesarena Forum

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Experimental Ebola Vaccine Show Promise in African Trials by Idowu Olabode : December 30, 2014, 12:49:16 PM
An experimental ebola vaccine is safe, and generated a similar immune response in African adults as reported in US adults earlier this year.

The findings, from the first trial of filovirus vaccines in Africa, are published in The Lancet.

“This is the first study to show comparable safety and immune response of an experimental ebola vaccine in an African population”, says lead author Dr Julie Ledgerwood, from the US National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“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,” she noted.

US scientists from her organisation developed DNA vaccines that code for ebola virus proteins from the Zaire and Sudan strains and the closely related Marburg virus protein.

The two vaccines contain the construction plans for the proteins on the outer surface of the virus.

Immune responses against these proteins have shown to be highly protective in non-human primate models.

“This is the first study to show comparable safety and immune response of an experimental ebola vaccine in an African population”Julie Ledgerwood

The trials involved 108 healthy adults aged between 18 and 50 from Kampala in Uganda. Each volunteer was randomly assigned either the ebola vaccine, Marburg vaccine, both vaccines, or placebo at the start of the study, and again four weeks and eight weeks later.

The vaccines given separately and together were safe and stimulated an immune response in the form of neutralising antibodies and T-cells against the virus proteins.

Four weeks after the third injection, 17 out of 30 of the volunteers had an antibody response to the ebola Zaire protein, as did 14 of 30 participants who received both the ebola and Marburg vaccines.

However, the antibodies were not long-lasting and returned to undetectable levels within 11 months of vaccination.

Both DNA vaccines were well tolerated in Ugandan adults with similar numbers of local and systemic reactions reported in allgroups.

Only one serious adverse event – neutropenia – was reported in a Marburg vaccine only recipient, but was not thought to be vaccine related.

Dr Ledgerwood said: “These findings have already formed the basis of a more potent vaccine, delivered using a harmless chimpanzee cold virus, which is undergoing trials in the USA, UK, Mali, and Uganda in response to the ongoing ebola virus outbreak.”

Commenting on the results in the journal, Dr Saranya Sridhar, from the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, said: “The international response to the present Ebola outbreak is an exemplar of the speed and purpose with which clinical vaccine development can progress and has set the benchmark against which future vaccine development must be judged.

“This study is the first step on the aspirational road towards the deployment of filovirus vaccines in Africa and must serve to shake the metaphorical cobwebs that can stall our advance towards this destination,” he said.


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