New Ebola Vaccine May Fight All Four Ebola Virus Species That Infect Humans

Infectious disease scientists report early development of a potential universal vaccine for Ebola viruses that preclinical tests show might neutralize all four species of these deadly viruses infecting people in recent outbreaks, mainly in Africa. Scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center report their preclinical results in an article published online on February 19, 2020 in the Journal of Virology, published by the American Society for Microbiology. The article is titled “A Bivalent, Spherical Virus-Like Particle Vaccine Enhances Breadth of Immune Responses Against Pathogenic Ebola Viruses in Rhesus Macaques.” Although still in early preclinical testing, the researchers report that their data indicate that the prospective vaccine has potential to be a stand-alone protection from Ebola. It also could broaden and extend the durability of protective immunity induced by current live vaccines already being tested in clinical trials against individual Ebola virus species, said Karnail Singh, PhD, the study's co-principal investigator in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children’s. "This could be a significant advancement in the global effort to prevent or manage Ebola outbreaks, especially if this vaccine, used alone or in combination with another Ebola vaccine, results in long-term and durable protective immunity against different Ebola viruses," Dr. Singh said. A deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa between 2013 and 2016 accelerated international efforts to develop vaccines for these highly infectious and harmful viruses. This led to development of recombinant Ebola vaccines in which glycoprotein from Zaire Ebola virus is engineered into another modified live viral vector.
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