A new collaborative study has identified and studied Ebola antibodies that could be used to design universal therapeutics that are effective against many different Ebola species. The findings were recently published in Nature Microbiology.
The Ebola virus causes a severe illness with high mortality rates in humans. Several strategies have been developed to treat Ebola infection, including ZMapp, which has been shown to be effective in non-human primates and has been used under compassionate-treatment protocols in humans.
“The trouble with ZMapp is that although it is effective against the Ebola species that was largely responsible for the last Ebola outbreak, it does not neutralize other Ebola species, including Ebola Bundibugyo, Reston or Sudan,” said virologist Alex Bukreyev, co-senior author and a University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston professor in the department of pathology. “We identified and studied three naturally-occurring antibodies from human survivors of Ebola Bundibugyo that neutralize and protect against infection with the several different Ebola virus species.”
The newly identified antibodies bond at a different site on the Ebola virus than other antibodies currently used to develop Ebola therapies.