Thursday, 2 April 2015

Tests of Experimental Ebola Vaccine Show Promise


Immune response seen in all study volunteers, side effects were manageable

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say preliminary tests show that people given a single shot of an experimental Ebola vaccine mounted an immune response to the vaccine.

Two separate teams of investigators concluded the vaccine is safe, with side effects confined to fever, fatigue, injection-site pain and/or joint pain.

That said, these early findings are only the first step in what will be a long road toward use in the general population. And the preliminary testing does not yet speak to the effectiveness of the vaccine in actually preventing Ebola infections.

"I would definitely say that both these efforts are moving the needle forward, because in order to get a vaccine into widespread use you have to go through several phases of studies, the first of which is designed to demonstrate overall safety," explained Dr. Amesh Adalja, a health security and infectious diseases expert with the UPMC Center for Health Security in Baltimore.

"Both teams have shown that although there are some side effects, the vaccine is basically safe," added Adalja, who was not part of either research effort. "That's an important finding in the vaccine development process. Because even though the current outbreak will eventually be completely controlled, we do want to be sure we have something safe and effective in place for the next time that an outbreak occurs."

The reports on what is known as the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus-based vaccine (rVSV) are published online April 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine. One team was guided by corresponding study author Dr. Claire-Anne Siegrist, of the Center for Vaccinology at Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland. The other team was led by Dr. Jason Regules, from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, in Silver Springs, Md.

Regules' team noted that since the current Ebola outbreak began in West Africa in December 2013, the virus has claimed the lives of just over 10,000 patients, out of slightly more than 25,000 confirmed cases.

In Regules' case, he and his colleagues conducted two phase 1 trials (funded in part by the U.S. National Institutes of Health), involving just 52 participants who were broken down into groups of 13.

source : Tests of Experimental Ebola Vaccine Show Promise

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