Results from early-stage testing of two Ebola and Marburg Virus vaccines in Uganda are promising.
Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), the trial was the first of its kind to be completed in an African country. Early trials among adult volunteers showed that the two vaccines are safe and immune responses are apparent.
The two vaccines utilize DNA segments from the Ebola virus and use a primate form of the adenovirus as a carrier. The vaccines are predecessors to the NIAID/GSK Ebola Vaccine, a next-generation vaccine candidate that is still in the developmental stage.
The two vaccines were tested on volunteers in the U.S. in 2008, and the results are similar to those being reported from the study in Uganda, which was conducted in 2009.
According to researchers, similar responses and results from both cohorts is encouraging as individuals from different parts of the world can be affected differently by the same vaccines.
The Ugandan trial consisted of 108 volunteers, 18 of whom received a placebo injection. Three groups of 30 received the Ebola vaccine, the Marburg vaccine or both. Antibodies that correspond with the Ebola Zaire strain, the same strain causing the current outbreak in West Africa, were found in 17 volunteers in the Ebola exclusive group and 14 in the group that received both injections.