Thursday, April 09, 2015

Blog #8 New Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise

So far there are at least a thousand different Ebola vaccines going on in different stages. The vaccine was made from a weak Ebola virus has protected every monkey that was injected with the shot from the virus. Thomas Geisbert a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch and his colleagues made the virus from a virus from a cow called vesicular stomatitis virus or VSV for short. They took part of the virus and replaced it with part of the Ebola virus. Eight out of eight monkeys, that was tested, did not contract the virus when given the shot. Even after 28 days from being exposed to the virus they are still fine. Whereas the two monkeys that was in the controlled group died 7 to 8 days later. This vaccine is actually the second in its group. The first generation of the vaccine that was tested on 40 healthy human volunteers in Washington DC developed arthritis type conditions which added extra concern of the vaccine safety. Although Dr. Geisbert did find a vector in the VSV that delivers the same immune response against to the Ebola virus. The other thing about the VSV loaded with the Ebola grew 10 times slower than it did in the first vaccine. Animals that was injected with the vaccine showed 10 to 50-fold lower in the animal’s blood stream than the first vaccine. They will not be able to say if the vaccine works the same for humans or what the side effects are of the virus until the can test it on healthy human volunteers. That part can happen as early as this summer.  



It’s great that they now have somewhere to start and build upon but my only issue with it is what the side effects of the new vaccine are. Will it be the same as the first trial or will it be worse, or better? The virus might be slowing down for now but what could happen. Could this possibly open up for the Ebola gene to start to change and become immune to this vaccine? I feel like they need to test it a few more times before they want to test it on humans. It is understandable that both humans and monkeys share about 99% of the same DNA coding but even then that 1% can make a huge difference in things.



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