Friday, June 15, 2012

Canadian Lab Develops Potential Treatment For Ebola Virus

The Frontiers of Science

An article in The National Post reports that there is some good news in the battle against the Ebola virus, with a Canadian research lab showing early promising results.
Researchers from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg report that monkeys deliberately infected with Ebola were successfully saved with a cocktail of anti-bodies against the virus. Four of four monkeys given the treatment 24 hours after infection survived. And two of four monkeys treated 48 hours after infection also survived.
There is no vaccine and no treatment for Ebola, a viral hemorrhagic fever that causes sporadic, deadly outbreaks in countries in central Africa.
This treatment isn’t ready for human use yet. And even if the work continues to look promising, hurdles will undoubtedly arise when attempts are made to translate findings in the lab to a usable therapy in the field. Still, these results are creating optimism that a tool with which to combat Ebola outbreaks may be on the horizon.
The work involved infecting macaque monkeys with Ebola Zaire, the deadliest type of Ebola viruses; there are five known types of Ebola viruses. It will likely be years before humans can benefit from such a treatment, yet it's a good start. This shows the necessity of scientific work and the benefits of medical research. Bravo to the team at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, part of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

You can read the full article at [The National Post]