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Canada vaccine effective against Ebola virus

A vaccine developed by Canadian company Immunovaccine Inc., was found to be protective against Ebola virus in animals. Four monkeys infected with the Ebola virus survived after being injected the vaccine. The company declared the study results on Monday which resulted its stock markets to soar high. 
The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based company said that the four monkeys were first vaccinated and later a lethal dose of Ebola virus was injected in them. While these four animals survived the viral attack, two monkeys in the control group, who did not received the vaccine, died within a week. The company started the production of Ebola vaccine few months back after the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggested Immunovaccine to develop vaccine for Ebola implementing the technology used by the company in the development of anthrax vaccine.

The vaccine production work was a part of NIH tests on potential antigens, agents (substances) that trigger the immune system to produce antibodies against the Ebola virus. The antigen present in this vaccine does not use a same virus to attack the cells unlike antigens of other early-stage Ebola vaccines. 
Currently ZMapp, an experimental drug is been used to treat Ebola virus although FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not approved it officially due to lack of human clinical trials.
What is ZMapp and how it works?
ZMapp, combination drug contains monoclonal antibodies made from a tobacco-plant strain. It is an optimized cocktail combining the best components of two treatments namely MB-003 (Mapp) and ZMAb (Defyrus/PHAC) and is produced in a laboratory by exposing mice to fragments of the virus. This drug contains antibodies that confer protection against the virus attacking the body. These antibodies bind to a specific protein (target) of the virus and mimic the immune action.  
Why has the FDA  not approved ZMapp?
As of now, only two cases have been reported stating that ZMapp has been effective in treating Ebola, while studies have shown that only 43% of animals affected with the Ebola virus have been cured. Additionally, the efficacy of the drug has not been evaluated in humans (only two cases have been positive where the drug was used before infection and not after being affected). The drug is being used based on the experimental evidence and its safety has to be proven through clinical trials. It might take at least two months for large scale studies on humans and thus, a considerable amount of time for the FDA to officially approve the use of ZMapp for Ebola treatment. 
Photo source: Getty Images

Source : Thehealthsite.com


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