Experimental Ebola Treatment Protects Some Primates Even After Disease Symptoms Appear Scientists have successfully treated the deadly Ebola virus in infected animals following onset of disease symptoms, according to a report published online today in Science Translational Medicine. The results show promise for developing therapies against the virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever with human case fatality rates as high as 90 percent.
According to first author James Pettitt of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the research team previously demonstrated that the treatment—known as MB-003—protected 100 percent of non-human primates when given one hour after Ebola exposure. Two-thirds of the animals were protected when treated 48 hours after exposure.
Ebola’s name as a disease stems from a river in Congo called Ebola.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is the human disease caused by the Ebola virus. Symptoms typically start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pains, and headaches. Typically nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea follow, along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. At this point, some people begin to have bleeding problems.
In the current study, 43 percent of infected non-human primates recovered after receiving the treatment intravenously 104 to 120 hours after infection. The experimental design differed significantly from the team’s earlier work—this time, infected animals were not treated until they developed measurable symptoms of disease. Ebola virus has been responsible for numerous deaths in Africa over the past several
years. In addition to being a global health concern, the virus also is considered a potential biological threat agent.
Courtessy of Mapp Bio, we have a potential successful drug for some form of recovery for Ebola. First tried on Dr. Brantly shows very positive signs of success. This has a wider implication on the potential of finally finding a way to at least control the virus or manage it. Let’s watch how things turn up with this one, but clearly it goes to demonstrate once more that Africa needs to invest in the right priorities.