Ebola survivor antibodies could produce new treatments and vaccines

A team of researchers backed by the National Institutes of Health identified antibodies in an Ebola survivor capable of protecting human cells from multiple Ebola virus species. The antibodies could aid in the development of an effective vaccine for the deadly virus, according to a study published in the journal Cell.

For the study, researchers analyzed 349 antibodies extracted from the blood of one survivor of the West African Ebola outbreak. The team identified two naturally occurring antibodies that offered protection against three of the five species of Ebola virus in the laboratory setting. In animal models, both antibodies each protected mice from two Ebola species.

"Since it's impossible to predict which of these agents [Ebola species] will cause the next epidemic, it would be ideal to develop a single therapy that could treat or prevent infection caused by any known ebolavirus," said Zachary Bornholdt, PhD, one of the study's authors and the director of antibody discovery at Mapp Biopharmaceutical. 

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