A significant breakthrough in the search for a mass Ebola virus cure has been achieved after experimental work on mice, and large stockpiles of the vaccine can now be developed.
A team of scientists from Arizona State University along with the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix and the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, have published their work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, which outlines the new form of vaccine treatment which saved 80 percent of the mice included in the experiment.
Although a vaccine that uses a strain of the virus has been known for some time now, there has never really been a viable way to stockpile large quantities of the cure in the case of an emergency, such as an Ebola outbreak or a biochemical weapon attack. The new developments, however, will solve this problem as it protects the virus in the vaccine inside a synthetic viral and preserves its effectiveness even after being stored away for a long time, UPI.com shared.
Ebola has been largely contained since it was first identified in 1976, but outbreaks of the disease are extremely dangerous, because they cause a very painful death and can be transmitted from bodily fluids. There is the possibility that the virus may also become airborne and quickly affect a large section of a population in a given area.
One of the leaders of the project, Charles Arntzen, a biotechnologist from Arizona State University, explained in the report that the new method allows the vaccine to survive being dried down and frozen, and will help the immune system to recognize the strain.
While the research so far has been focused on mice, hopes are that scientists will now be able to bring it to the next stage and make it effective for humans as well.