Research: 4 Promising Ways to Eradicate Ebola Virus



The #Ebola virus has been around since 1976 and as the virus continues to spread throughout West Africa researchers hard at work in a bid to find a way to manage or eradicate the virus.

They are using tools of molecular biology to mimic or interfere with the virus to make vaccines or treatments for the next outbreak.

Many of these drug candidates are still stuck in the laboratory, pending federal approval and private money.

Excerpt from Discovery:

Tobacco plant monoclonal antibodies The two American aid workers struck with Ebola in Liberia received emergency doses of a brand-new, untested drug made inside tobacco plants, according to Bloomberg News. The drug is made by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceuticals. Genes for the antibodies against Ebola are combined with genes for a natural tobacco virus. The tobacco plants are then infected and the infection results in the production of new antibodies. The plant is ground up and the antibody is extracted.

Horse-killer Vesicular stomatis virus (VSV) affects horses and cattle and is spread by flies. But researchers are using it to deliver an antibody for Ebola’s surface coating. This vaccine is being developed by Canadian health authorities and a New York firm. It has protected monkeys in animal tests against the same strain of Ebola now in West Africa.

RNA interference Ebola blocks the body’s own antibodies, such as interferon. The drug BCX4430 blocks Ebola’s own messenger RNA from replicating. The drug was initially designed for bioterrorism outbreaks and its early development is funded by the U.S. military and produced by Tekmira.

Convalescence plasma This age-old method was used by Dr. Keith Brantly, the American doctor infected while helping patients in Liberia. He was administered a serum taken from a local patient who survived Ebola and still had live antibodies in his system. The problem is that it only works during an outbreak, and only for that particular viral strain.

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