Inhaled Ebola vaccine protects macaques

An inhalable vaccine against Ebola virus has been found to induce lasting protection in non-human primates, a recent study has found.

The paper, published this week in Molecular Pharmaceutics, describes two phases of experiments in the pre-clinical trial of the vaccine.

Macaques were given an adenovirus-based vaccine either through their respiratory system or by sublingual means, a practice in which the vaccine is administered under the tongue.

The first phase of experiments was performed to evaluate a dose for each type of vaccine to help identify formulations that would improve the vaccines performance.

The results from these experiments indicated that the respiratory vaccine was more effective against Ebola virus than the sublingual vaccine.


Ebola Virus (CDC Global, Flickr)

Macaques that received the vaccine in respiratory form had a strong antibody response to a glycoprotein specific to Ebola virus, a response that other scientific studies have found to be essential for protection against the infection.

After being challenged with Ebola 62 days later, 67% of the macaques treated with the respiratory vaccine survived the infection, whereas none of the macaques given the sublingual vaccine survived this challenge.

The second phase of experiments was performed to evaluate the longevity of the immune response in both forms of vaccine as well as to evaluate a respiratory formulation that had been seen to have a positive effect against Ebola virus in rodents.

150 days after initially being given either of the vaccines, the macaques were challenged with Ebola virus to test their immune response.

Animals that received the sublingual vaccine all died from Ebola infection within nine days of being challenged.

Macaques that received the respiratory form of vaccine all survived the challenge from Ebola virus and experienced little changes in weight or temperature during the course of the infection.

A needle free vaccine is a desirable method to fight Ebola.

Such a treatment would reduce the risks posed in large scale immunization programmes where transmission can occur through injuries from needles in unsafe practices, as well as the problems with the improper handling of biomedical waste.

The recent findings are in very early stages but do show promise in finding a long lasting, inhalable vaccine against Ebola.

Read the full paper: A Single Dose Respiratory Recombinant Adenovirus-Based Vaccine Provides Long-Term Protection for Non-Human Primates from Lethal Ebola Infection


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Amy Moore

Amy is currently studying for a Masters in Science Communication. Follow her on twitter @_Amy_Moore91

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