Canadian lab records success in treating Ebola
Researchers from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg said that monkeys deliberately infected with Ebola were saved with a mixture of antibodies against the virus, according to GlobalTVEdmonton.com.
All four of the primates that were given the treatment 24 hours after infection survived. Two out of four survived when treated 48 hours after the initial infection.
Currently, there is no known treatment against the illness, which causes severe hemorrhaging and has an extremely high fatality rate. Natural outbreaks of the illness occur in central Africa, and the virus is considered to be a potential weapon of bioterror.
The treatment still faces an array of obstacles, but the researchers contend it holds promise.
"Our researchers have seen first hand the terrible effects of the Ebola virus on populations in Africa," Dr. Frank Plummer, scientific director of the Winnipeg lab and chief science officer at the Public Health Agency of Canada, said, GlobalTVEdmonton.com reports. "This discovery should pave the way for the development of a new drug that has the potential to save many lives."
Dr. Pierre Formenty, the team leader for epidemic and emerging diseases at the World Health Organization, said the results of the study have given him more optimism than he's felt in years about eventually finding a usable tool against the deadly microbe.