Blood of Ebola Survivor Could Lead to Future Vaccine

When a new strain of fatal viruses start spreading, and we do not know anything about them or how to stop them, it can be terrifying, We are rendered helpless, and that is such a vulnerable atmosphere. For example, when Swine Flu hit in 2010, or when Ebola emerged as of more recent.

Both outbreaks have killed many people. According to World Health Organization, Ebola killed 11,310 people from August of 2014 and September of 2014.

However, some people miraculously survived and it is from their blood that researchers are working to make an vaccine.

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Researchers report today (May 18) in the journal Cell that the blood from one of the survivors contains remarkable antibodies that block not just one strain of Ebola from infecting animal cells, but stops all five known strains .

The antibodies could lead to an effective therapy to the disease in humans, or a vaccine that prevents any version of Ebola from infecting a person in the first place.

“We’ve identified multiple antibodies that are broadly neutralizing and protective,” said the study’s co-leader, Kartik Chandran, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

They are working to make what they call a “drug cocktail” which attacks the virus.

In their study, the researchers turned to an Ebola survivor to look for such antibodies. Once a person has been infected with Ebola, it is likely that their immune system has produced antibodies to protect them against future infections.

So once these antibodies are created into a cocktail and mixed just right, they are believed to attack the virus and kill it. Science is pretty neat, isn’t it? However, in the making of this future drug, scientists will need to engineer the vaccine to create specific types of antibodies. This would help them keep other strains of the virus at bay.


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Keely Sharp

Keely Sharp

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