VSV-EBOV rapidly protects macaques against infection with the 2014/15 Ebola virus outbreak strain

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Science  14 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6249, pp. 739-742
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3920

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Shortening the time to protection

Although Ebola vaccine candidates have entered clinical trials in West Africa, there is little information available on the mechanism of protection. A single dose of the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus–Ebola vaccine protects nonhuman primates, acting primarily through antibody responses. Marzi et al. found that this vaccine generates a robust immune response in macaques to a West African strain of Ebola virus within days of immunization (see the Perspective by Klenk and Becker). Innate immune responses developed in as little as 3 days and increased the chances of survival, with complete antibody protection acquired 7 days after immunization.

Science, this issue p. 739; see also p. 693


The latest Ebola virus (EBOV) epidemic spread rapidly through Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, creating a global public health crisis and accelerating the assessment of experimental therapeutics and vaccines in clinical trials. One of those vaccines is based on recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus expressing the EBOV glycoprotein (VSV-EBOV), a live-attenuated vector with marked preclinical efficacy. Here, we provide the preclinical proof that VSV-EBOV completely protects macaques against lethal challenge with the West African EBOV-Makona strain. Complete and partial protection was achieved with a single dose given as late as 7 and 3 days before challenge, respectively. This indicates that VSV-EBOV may protect humans against EBOV infections in West Africa with relatively short time to immunity, promoting its use for immediate public health responses.

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