Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Nasal spray offers hope for Ebola protection............

A new study has revealed that a nasal vaccine in works has the potential for long-lasting protection from Ebola virus. 

Results from a small pre-clinical study at The University of Texas at Austin represent the only proof to date that a single dose of a non-injectable vaccine platform for Ebola is long-lasting, which could have significant global implications in controlling future outbreaks. Researcher Maria Croyle and colleagues at the university developed a nasal formulation that improved survival of immunized non-human primates from 67 percent (2 out of 3) to 100 percent (3 out of 3) after challenge with 1,000 plaque forming units of Ebola Zaire 150 days after immunization. This is important since only 50 percent of the primates given the vaccine by the standard route (intramuscular injection) survived challenge. Jonsson-Schmunk said that Ebola causes devastating outbreaks with fatality rates of 25 - 90 percent in Africa and Asia and although progress has been made in understanding the virus' biology, no licensed vaccines or treatments currently exist. Schmunk added that there is a desperate need for a vaccine that not only prevents the continued transmission from person to person, but also aids in controlling future incidences and the main advantage of their vaccine platform over the others in clinical testing is the long-lasting protection after a single intranasal dose. Schmunk continued that this is important since the longevity of other vaccines for Ebola that are currently being evaluated is not fully understood and moreover, the nasal spray immunization method is more attractive than a needle vaccine given the costs associated with syringe distribution and safety.