Ebola today remains a serious threat to both people and animals. In the latest of a series of outbreaks earlier in 2003, 143 men and women in the Republic of Congo were infected and 128 failed to survive. Not terribly good statistics (if you're not a virus trying to survive in a cruel world).
A new development arising has now given hope to both man and beast. An adenovirus has been able to protect 8 monkeys from other monkeys that had Ebola forced upon them. The aim is to be able to form a "ring of protection" around an area of infection and reduce the spreading of this foul and terrible virus.
To stimulate a killer T-cell response, the animals were first injected with the DNA that codes for three Ebola viral proteins. To stimulate antibody production, they were then injected with cold virus modified to carry these proteins.
This current method is a lot faster than the existing 6 month multiple injection routine.
This bodes well for some people, but not for those who have a natural response to strains of adenoviruses, which would significantly reduce their body's reaction to the strain within the vaccine. Many steangth strains are thus required, but there is no date revealed as to when the human pincushion trials begin.
Written on Wednesday, 6 August 2003