NIH-sponsored Ebola, Marburg trial in Uganda shows positive results

A vaccine developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases showed positive results from volunteers of healthy Ugandan adults. | NIH

Early-stage clinical trials of two experimental vaccines for the Ebola and Marburg viruses developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently showed positive results in healthy adult volunteers in Uganda.

The vaccines were “predecessors” to a previous candidate vaccine called the NIAID/GSK Ebola vaccine. NIAID is a division of the National Institutes of Health.

“The NIAID/GSK vaccine incorporates Ebola gene segments into a carrier derived from a chimpanzee adenovirus,” the NIAID said. “It is being tested in several Phase 1 clinical trials around the world, with larger trials planned for early 2015.”

The immune responses shown in the Ugandan volunteers were similar to results from a trial using the same vaccines in U.S, participants in 2008, which is important because people from different parts of the world can respond differently to the same vaccines, the NIAID said.

A total of 108 people were enrolled in the Ugandan trial, which began in 2009 at Makerere University Walter Reed Project. About 18 people received a placebo injection, and three groups of 30 participants each received either the Ebola vaccine, the Marburg vaccine or both.

Three injections were given out over an eight-week period, and the volunteers were followed over two years to record their antibody responses. About 17 volunteers who received the Ebola vaccine showed antibodies against the same strain of the virus that is causing the outbreak in West Africa.

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