The World Health Organization or WHO has disclosed that the world will soon be able to protect humans against the deadly Ebola virus as data from a trial in Guinea showed a vaccine was “100 percent effective.”
“We believe that the world is on the verge of an efficacious Ebola vaccine,” said WHO vaccine expert Marie Paule Kieny in a statement. According to the statement, WHO initial results from the trial, which tested Merck and NewLink Genetics’ VSV-ZEBOV vaccine, on some 4,000 people who had been in close contact with a confirmed Ebola case showed 100 percent protection after 10 days.
The statement quoted Global health specialists as describing the success of the Guinea trial as “remarkable” and “game changing.”
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the results, published online in the medical journal- The Lancet, were an “extremely promising development” since it could now be used to help end the worst recorded outbreak of Ebola, which has killed more than 11,200 people in West Africa since it began in December 2013.
“This is going to be a game changer. It will change the management of the current Ebola outbreak and future outbreaks,” she said, pointing that another major trial in Liberia, which had aimed to sign up more than 28,000 subjects, had to stop enrolling after only reaching its mid-stage target of 1,500 participants, and plans for testing in Sierra Leone were also scaled back.
The Vesicular Stomatitis Virus-Ebola Virus vaccine known as VSV-EBOV is an experimental vaccine for protection against Ebola virus disease. It was developed by scientists at the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory.
As of July 2015, clinical trials were ongoing. VSV-EBOV is a recombinant, replication-competent vaccine, consisting of a vesicular stomatitis virus, which has been genetically engineered to express Ebola glycoproteins so as to provoke an immune response against the complete Ebola virus.
The vaccine variant known as rVSV-ZEBOV, rVSV-ZEBOV-GP, VSVΔG-ZEBOV, or BPSC1001 expresses glycoproteins of the Zaire ebolavirus or ZEBOV, the species causing the highest mortality rate among the ebolaviruses, while rVSV-MARV or rVSV-MARV-GP expressed those of the closely related Marburg filovirus or MARV.
A single-dose blended vaccine capable of protection against several ebolavirus species could be deployed more efficiently, especially in a setting such as Western Africa. Such a blended VSV-GP vaccine expressing ZEBOV GP, SUDV GP, and MARV GP in equal concentrations was administered as a single dose to crab-eating macaques.
This blended vaccine provided 100% protection against a following infection with ZEBOV, SUDV, MARV, or even Taï Forest Ebola virus or TAFV. By Ben P. Wesee -Edited by George Barpeen