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Team finds potent antibodies against three Ebola viruses

by Jul. 19, 2018, 9:28 AM

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and their colleagues are a step closer to developing a broadly effective antibody treatment against the three major Ebola viruses that cause lethal disease in humans.

Reporting July 17 in the journal Immunity, they describe the isolation of two potent monoclonal antibodies from human survivors of Ebola virus disease that, in cell culture studies, efficiently neutralized the Zaire, Sudan and Bundibugyo ebolaviruses.

The antibodies, EBOV-515 and EBOV-520, also showed the capacity to protect against infection by these viruses in animal models.

While further study is needed, these antibodies could lead to development of injectable antibody “cocktails” for people at high risk of being infected by Ebola viruses. The hope is that the antibodies — like heat-seeking missiles — would seek out and destroy the viruses before they can wreak havoc in the body.

“Our team was very excited to discover these new antibodies that have the capacity to treat all Ebola viruses,” said the paper’s senior author, James Crowe Jr., MD, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center. “They appear very promising for development as a treatment and prevention for Ebola virus disease.”

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