Human antibodies to fight ebola viruses discovered
In a first, scientists led by one of Indian-origin have discovered natural human antibodies that can neutralise and protect animals against three...
New York : In a first, scientists led by one of Indian-origin have discovered natural human antibodies that can neutralise and protect animals against three virulent ebola viruses, an advance that could lead to vaccines against the deadly disease.
The broadly neutralising natural human antibodies were discovered in the blood of a survivor of the 2013-16 ebola outbreak in Western Africa, which caused more than 11,000 deaths and infected over 29,000 people.
The blood was found to contain remarkable antibodies that block not just one strain of Ebola from infecting animal cells, but all five known strains -- Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Tai Forest, the researchers said. Our discovery and characterisation of broadly neutralising human antibodies is an important step toward a single therapy that could treat or prevent infection caused by any known ebolavirus, said Kartik Chandran, professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.
Previously, monoclonal antibodies -- which bind to and neutralide specific pathogens and toxins -- emerged as one of the most promising treatments for Ebola patients. However, the therapy targetted just one of the specific ebola virus and could not work against the others.