An Ebola whole-virus vaccine is protective in nonhuman primates

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Science  24 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6233, pp. 439-442
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4919

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Ebola virus vaccine candidate

As there are so few possibilities for drugs and vaccines that protect against the Ebola virus (EBOV), we need more options. Marzi et al. present initial studies in monkeys of a promising whole Ebola virus vaccine based on a defective form of the virus in which an essential viral gene (VP30) is knocked out. One or two doses of this defective virus, with or without further peroxide inactivation, protected against a lethal challenge of EBOV. In limited immunological analyses, protection correlated with the production of antibodies to the EBOV envelope.

Science, this issue p. 439


Zaire ebolavirus is the causative agent of the current outbreak of hemorrhagic fever disease in West Africa. Previously, we showed that a whole Ebola virus (EBOV) vaccine based on a replication-defective EBOV (EBOVΔVP30) protects immunized mice and guinea pigs against lethal challenge with rodent-adapted EBOV. Here, we demonstrate that EBOVΔVP30 protects nonhuman primates against lethal infection with EBOV. Although EBOVΔVP30 is replication-incompetent, we additionally inactivated the vaccine with hydrogen peroxide; the chemically inactivated vaccine remained antigenic and protective in nonhuman primates. EBOVΔVP30 thus represents a safe, efficacious, whole-EBOV vaccine candidate that differs from other EBOV vaccine platforms in that it presents all viral proteins and the viral RNA to the host immune system, which might contribute to protective immune responses.

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