Scientists at Vanderbilt University, The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Integral Molecular Inc., and The Scripps Research Institute have found a new approach that may enable them to make a single treatment for several Ebola strains.
The researchers found antibodies within blood samples from Ebola survivors. These antibodies may be able to eliminate different kinds of Ebola, showing that the immune response to Ebola may be helpful in creating treatments for the virus and similar strains.
The study results, published in Cell, shows that antibodies from survivors of the Ebola Bundibugyo strain may be helpful in treating other Ebola strains. The scientists took blood samples from seven Ebola Bundibugyo survivors. They contracted the virus in the 2007 outbreak that occurred in Uganda and then isolated a significant portion of B cells to create the antibodies.
"The work on antibodies isolated from survivors of filovirus infections, including Marburg and Ebola, was started by James Crowe's laboratory at Vanderbilt University together with our laboratory about three years ago," Alex Bukreyev, virologist, UTMB professor and co-corresponding author, said. "In this study, we isolated a remarkably diverse array of virus-specific antibodies, which appeared to bind to various parts of the envelope protein of the virus. Some of the antibodies neutralized not only Ebola Bundibugyo virus, but also Ebola Zaire and Sudan viruses."