Researchers engineer antibodies to fight most potent Ebola strains

Researchers engineer antibodies to fight most potent Ebola strains.

Although Ebola was briefly a threat on American soil, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) researchers have engineered antibodies that could potentially stop the disease.

The researchers believe that these antibodies could stop the two most deadly strains of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The two co-leaders of the study -- John Dye, branch chief of viral immunology at USAMRIID, and Jonathan Lai, associate professor of biochemistry at Einstein -- believe that this could potentially stop the spread of future strains, although it is hard to predict which strain will appear next.

"A broadly effective immunotherapy for Ebola virus would be a tremendous advance, since it's impossible to predict which strain of the virus will cause the next outbreak," Lai said.

The goal of the research is to find therapies that will protect against all strains of the disease. The discovery of these first antibodies, which were conducted on mice, is a huge step in that direction. The strain that caused the 2014 outbreak in West Africa is the Zaire Ebola Virus, while the next most pathogenic strain is the Sudan Ebola Virus.

"This strain is also a concern because outbreaks are occurring more frequently, and it has been responsible for large outbreaks in the past," Dye said.

Organizations in this story

Albert Einstein College of Medicine 1300 Morris Park Ave Bronx, NY 10461

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