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Ebola Vaccine with 100% Protection
#1
Lightbulb 
Prologue:
'In a study published (on Thursday, 22nd December 2016) , an experimental (rVSV-vectored) vaccine  against the Ebola virus has been found to be 100% effective!  This study and its results have emerged as a great sigh of relief not only for Africa (this disease created havoc in 2014 by causing death of over 11,000 people!) but also......'


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In a study published in 'The Lancet' (on Thursday, 22nd December 2016) , an experimental (rVSV-vectored) vaccine  against the Ebola virus has been found to be 100% effective! 


no longer available

This study and its results have emerged as a great sigh of relief not only for Africa (this disease created havoc in 2014 by causing death of over 11,000 people!), but also for the entire world where the Ebola Virus has been spreading ceaselessly. As quoted by Dr. KeÏta Sakoba, director of Guinea's  'National Agency for Health Security'.
Quote:Ebola left a devastating legacy in our country. We are proud that we have been able to contribute to developing a vaccine that will prevent other nations from enduring what we endured”


About this 'Ebola Vaccine'

rVSV-ZEBOV, the vaccine used in the study, is a recombinant, replication competent vesicular stomatitis virus-based candidate vaccine expressing a surface glycoprotein of Zaire Ebolavirus

In this study, the effect of rVSV-ZEBOV in preventing Ebola virus disease in contacts and contacts of contacts of recently confirmed cases in Guinea, west Africa was tested.

Following is the brief of their story:

In 2015, this experimental vaccine was administered to residents of Guinea 'who were in contact with patients who had recently confirmed cases of Ebola'.

Few months post these early trials, the WHO identified the preliminary results of the trials as an “extremely promising development.”


The trial involving > 11000 people, was later led by WHO in conjunction with Guinea’s Ministry of Health.

Total 5,837 people were administered the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, and none recorded any case of Ebola post 10 days or longer.

Vaccine side effects in some subjects were observed, but were limited to headaches, fatigue and muscle pain. Two subjects had serious reactions, one who having an allergic reaction.

Ring strategy of this study for 100% Effective Ebola Vaccine

Ebola is not new to the world (first discovered in 1976). Being limited to isolated African communities for almost 3 decades, its outbreaks were always manageable, and hence wasn't considered a major threat.

But, in 2014, a major outbreak took place, wherein Ebola virus reached cities and started spreading like wildfire (catching the entire global health community off guard and clueless about this sudden and huge outbreak). From Africa, it started spreading to other continents/countries/states/cities and countrysides. This called for a concerted effort.

Categorized as a highly contagious virus, Ebola can spread once patients are symptomatic. So, the relatives of the patients are at great risk of exposure while they try to take care of their loved ones. With an aim to combat this, researchers designed the vaccine administration approach in such a way that the Ebola Vaccine should be doled out to "clusters” or “rings” — groups of people who had been in contact with an Ebola patient (same strategy that was used to eradicate smallpox).

The logic behind this approach, as explained by John-Arne Rottingen of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health to CNN is quite legit: 
Quote:“The premise is that by vaccinating all people who have come into contact with an infected person, you create a protective ‘ring’ and stop the virus from spreading further”
After this huge reported success, the Ebola vaccine production has been fast tracked by US and European regulatory agencies.

Merck, Sharp & Dohme manufactured the vaccine for the trial and are producing for further actions as well.

As per the promise of Merck: 300,000 doses of the vaccine will be available in case of a new Ebola flareup. Merck will be submitting the Ebola vaccine for licensing by the close of 2017.

Following is the entire research paper published in "The Lancet":





Science and Biotechnology has yet again proved its worth to life and living forms. 
Sunil Nagpal
MS(Research) Scholar, IIT Delhi (Alumnus)
Advisor for the Biotech Students portal (BiotechStudents.com)
Computational Researcher in BioSciences at a leading MNC


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#2
Oh lovely! I mean it is a bit late but better late than never, eh? I mean nothing is 100% but at least we got a vaccine that's close to maximum effectiveness. Like a virus .. does the Ebola Virus mutate, and do they have a vaccine flexible enough to change it up to match the mutation if need be?
Speaking of, do you think it might mutate to effect another specie and possibly drive it to extinction? Just inside thoughts!
I like this post though.
#3
Why is there no Ebola Vaccine till date:
(12-27-2016, 12:24 AM)Brii1920 Wrote: Oh lovely! I mean it is a bit late but better late than never, eh? I mean nothing is 100% but at least we got a vaccine that's close to maximum effectiveness. Like a virus .. does the Ebola Virus mutate, and do they have a vaccine flexible enough to change it up to match the mutation if need be?
Speaking of, do you think it might mutate to effect another specie and possibly drive it to extinction? Just inside thoughts!
I like this post though.

Ideally, every virus has the potential to mutate. Ebola is not an exception. In fact the mutation it underwent (or in other words, the mutation observed) in 2013 is what made it infect human cells more easily. But mutation was never a major limiting factor behind the delay. The major reason behind such a huge delay in getting an effective vaccine out (or Why there was no Vaccine for Ebola till date) was:

"Its prevalence in under-developed countries  for a major span of time!".

I'm quoting below some of the cruel truths revealed in a New York Times article of 2014:

Quote:Canadian and US scientists several years ago developed a vaccine that was 100 percent effective in protecting monkeys from Ebola. The researchers said tests in people might start within two years, and a product could potentially be ready for licensing by 2010 or 2011

Quote:“It never happened. The vaccine sat on a shelf. Only now is it undergoing the most basic safety tests in humans with nearly 5,000 people dead from Ebola and an epidemic raging out of control in West Africa.”

Quote:“Most drug companies have resisted spending the enormous sums needed to develop products useful mostly to countries with little ability to pay,”


In fact, as long back as 2000, there was a successful research published in Nature, a work by Dr. Nancy J. Sullivan at NIH, reporting a successful Ebola vaccine candidate. 

Dr. Sullivan started working on Ebola in 1997, considering the fierce outbreaks of Ebola in 1995 in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), and credits to her research proficiency, she had developed a vaccine candidate that the Centers for Disease Control tested on monkeys, confirming 100 percent success by July 1999. 

As per Wall street Journal account:
Quote:“Unvaccinated monkeys became sick and died within about a week. The four vaccinated monkeys had no detectable virus—something science had never before accomplished.”

The results, despite being published in a journal as prestigious as Nature, didn't interest pharmaceutical industry in developing an Ebola vaccine. 

The Wall street Journal account explains that as well: 
Quote:'The recently retired chief of vaccines at Merck & Co. said ‘there’s no market for this.’
Quote:It was because of ‘the relatively tiny risk posed by Ebola.’


I guess this very well explains the hypocrisy of the Pharma world!! And hopefully, it sheds light on the "Reason there was no Ebola Vaccine till date".


In case you are interested in reading the Nature Article by Dr. Sullivan (year 2000), following is the title:

"Development of a preventive vaccine for Ebola virus infection in primates"

Sunil Nagpal
MS(Research) Scholar, IIT Delhi (Alumnus)
Advisor for the Biotech Students portal (BiotechStudents.com)
Computational Researcher in BioSciences at a leading MNC


Suggested Reads:
Top Biotech Companies | Top places to work
Indian Biotech Companies and Job Openings
Aiming a PhD in Top Grad School? | These are the Important Points to Consider
Careers in Biotechnology | A list of various Options
Biotechnology Competitive Exams in India
  

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