Inhalable Ebola vaccine proves highly successful in animal tests

A new research has revealed that a team of researchers hunting for new Ebola treatments have come up with "groundbreaking" artificial-intelligence that can predict the effectiveness of new medicines 150 times faster than current methods.

Washington: A new study has found that a non-injectible and inhalable vaccine, which is in the works, has shown promise on initial tests on animals.

It said the vaccine can provide long-term protection for non-human primates from the lethal Ebola virus.

Results from a recent pre-clinical study represent the only proof to date that a single dose of a non-injectable vaccine platform for Ebola is long lasting, which could have significant global implications in controlling future outbreaks. A breathable vaccine could surmount the logistical obstacles of storing, transporting and administering injectable vaccines in parts of Africa most afflicted by the virus.

Professor Maria Croyle and graduate student Kristina Jonsson-Schmunk of The University of Texas at Austin's College of Pharmacy, worked over seven years to develop a respiratory formulation that improved survival of immunized non-human primates from 67 percent to 100 percent after challenge with 1,000 plaque forming units of Ebola Zaire 150 days after immunization.

This improvement has been statistically significant because only 50 percent of the primates given the vaccine by the standard method of intramuscular injection survived challenge.

Ebola causes devastating outbreaks with fatality rates of 25 to 90 percent in Africa and Asia. Although progress has been made in understanding the virus' biology, no licensed vaccines or treatments currently exist, noted the researchers.

The main advantage of their vaccine platform over the others in clinical testing was the long-lasting protection after a single inhaled dose, said Croyle. This was important since the longevity of other vaccines for Ebola that were currently being evaluated was not fully evaluated. Moreover, this immunization method was more attractive than an injectable vaccine given the costs associated with syringe distribution and needle safety and disposal.

The report is published in online edition of the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics. 

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