New Aerosol Vaccine Protects Primates Against Ebola
A new type of vaccine has been created that could prove immensely helpful in preventing and fighting future Ebola outbreaks. A team at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston along with the National Institutes of Health recently created an inhalable vaccine that has been shown to be effective in protecting primates from contracting the deadly virus.
The New Vaccine Can be Administered by Anybody
“A needle-free, inhalable vaccine against Ebola presents certain advantages,” said the head of the study, Michelle Meyer. “Immunization will not require trained medical personnel.”
The study looked at Ebola vaccinations given to non-human primates via either a liquid or aerosol. It discovered that aerosol vaccinations were just as effective at preventing Ebola as liquid vaccinations that had to be injected.
This marks the first occasion that an aerosol has successfully prevented a hemorrhagic fever. This promising study could provide a much greater solution to preventing and controlling the Ebola virus in the future.
The 2014 Ebola Outbreak Was the Worst in Recorded History
As of July 19, 2015, there were over 27,000 reported cases of Ebola with over 11,000 reported deaths. Many people at both the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control believe these staggering numbers can be attributed to much of the weak medical infrastructure found throughout Africa.
When the disease first broke out, people throughout the continent were hesitant to label the disease as Ebola. The continent did not have proper procedures in place to handle the disease.
The three main countries that were hit by the Ebola outbreak were Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. As the disease began to spread, the three countries were not properly equipped to contain the devastating virus. Many scientists believe that the disease spread quicker than it should have.
Any Future Ebola Outbreaks Should be Much Less Deadly
Had a vaccination of this nature been present in the most recent outbreak, many deaths could have been prevented. Many villages and cities throughout Africa were forced to rely on city leaders and prominent voices rather than trained medical personnel. This allowed for the disease to spread in such a quick fashion. If this type of vaccine had been present, anyone living in these villages could have administered a vaccination rather than a doctor or nurse.
The team at the University of Texas at Galveston is hopeful that one day this type of vaccination method will be available for human use. They hope that it could be adapted to be used in situations where a solid and reliable medical infrastructure is not present or in some sort of biowarfare scenario.
This study has given the team hope that the study will be advanced further. It has yet to receive approval by an Investigative New Drug Application, but the team hopes that soon it will receive approval to develop a study testing the safety and efficacy for use in human adults.