SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Experimental immunotherapy eliminates deadliest Ebola strains

Researchers see this as a significant step forward in finding effect immunotherapies for all of the Ebola virus strain. | File photo
Scientists from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)  recently developed an experimental immunotherapy with antibodies that effectively eliminates the two most lethal Ebola strains.

The researchers, who tested the new treatment in mice, see this as a significant step forward in finding effect immunotherapies for all of the Ebola virus strains.

"A broadly effective immunotherapy for Ebola virus would be a tremendous advance, since it's impossible to predict which strain of the virus will cause the next outbreak," Jonathan Lai, associate professor of biochemistry at Einstein and study co-leader, said.

The study, now available in Scientific Reports, seeks to address the Ebola virus, which caused the 2014 outbreak in West Africa. One of the reasons this outbreak was the largest in history is because of a lack of preventions and treatments for the disease.

There is still no vaccine that can protect people from contracting Ebola; only limited therapies to treat Ebola infections after they have settled into the body. The new immunotherapy could solve this problem.

"This strain is also a concern because outbreaks are occurring more frequently, and it has been responsible for large outbreaks in the past," John Dye, branch chief of viral immunology at USAMRIID and study co-leader, said.

Organizations in this story

Albert Einstein College of Medicine 1300 Morris Park Ave Bronx, NY 10461

Get notified the next time we write about Albert Einstein College of Medicine!