Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, recently developed an antibody that protects monkeys from developing Ebola infections.
The scientists developed the antibodies from a person who survived the 1995 Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They found that the survivor still had antibodies to fight off Ebola.
The scientists isolated the monoclonal antibody, which is a protein that eliminates viruses, from Ebola survivors. Specifically, the antibodies mAb100 and mAb114 are taken from Ebola glycoprotein. The antibodies are able to bond with the surface of the Ebola virus, insulating the virus from spreading throughout the body.
The antibody protected the monkeys, even five days after the Ebola virus was injected into them.
As of today, there are no licensed treatments for Ebola virus, which killed over 11,000 people during the recent outbreak in West Africa.
The experimental antibody will soon progress to clinical trials involving humans, and researchers hope to see the antibody because a treatment for the severe Ebola virus disease.
Details about the studies have been published in Science.