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SCI/TECH: Ebola vaccine breakthrough

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posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 09:07 AM
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Canadian researchers have shown a breakthrough in developing vaccines for ebola and marburg. Both viruses have killed hundreds this year alone, and this is the first time vaccines have proven effective in monkeys. A vaccine for humans could be ready in approximately six years, but given an emergency situation the development could be fast tracked.
 



www.thestar.com
Jubilant Canadian researchers have announced a world breakthrough in developing vaccines against the lethal Ebola and Marburg viruses.

Working with the U.S. Army, researchers at Health Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg have produced a single-dose vaccine that successfully protects monkeys against the two closely related viruses.

The viruses, which have killed hundreds of people in central Africa this year alone, are considered a potential bio-terrorism threat and have no known treatment or cure. It is the first time a Marburg vaccine has been shown to work in monkeys.

A human vaccine could be ready for production in five to six years, but it could be fast-tracked for use sooner in response to an emergency, Dr. Steve Jones of the laboratory told a news conference in Winnipeg on Friday. It was held in advance of the announcement which was embargoed until yesterday when it was published in the journal Nature Medicine.

The vaccine for "two of the most lethal organisms we know of" highlights the scientific capacity Canada has built up at the Winnipeg facility, one of only three highly secure Level 4 labs in the world, and also the importance of international co-operation, said Dr. Frank Plummer, its scientific director-general.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


It was a year and a half ago that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) opened human trials for a vaccine against ebola. Volunteer test subjects were few and far between despite the fact that the vaccine contained no live ebola virus.

I haven't heard anything about this since the time of the vaccine trials, and I wonder what happened with it. Especially since in this article it seems as though they're talking and thinking as though they will be the first to create the vaccine.
Does this mean a failure of the previous vaccine to protect against ebola? I'll be looking for more info on that.

This is a good thing to hear, though, especially with the marburg and ebola outbreaks this year. The only problem I can see is the potential to assume that both viruses are being spread only by monkey. These vaccines that have proven effective in monkeys may not prove effective in other animals that can carry it, and since a host animal for both viruses is unknown, may not help to stem the spread of the deadly viruses.

A human vaccine is ideal due to these factors, which is why I'm very curious to find out more about the human vaccine trials from 2003.



Related News Links:
www.sciencedaily.com
abc.net.au




posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 07:41 PM
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This is certainly a positive step to eradicating Ebola & Marburg for good. Although isolated thankfully, these two organisms still remain a potential scourge beyond anyone's nightmares. It is also tragic & horrifying that they are transmitted by close contact which means entire families and their relatives often fall victim whenever an outbreak occurs. I have often wondered of their origins as I've heard everything from green monkeys, to bat excrement, to evil lab engineering. If naturally occuring, it is frightening to imagine what other deadly nemesis to mankind might be germinating in some stagnant archaea pool in the unexplored regions of the jungle. This is a classic example of Man vs. Nature, with Nature often improving on it's mysterious designs, sometimes rebounding with an almost 'willful' mutation. If naturally occuring, and an antidote emerges, let's hope for the sake of the African people & the world Nature abandons two of it's most malevolent creations.



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 02:24 AM
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What worries me most about this kind of virus is what happens if it mutates , just a little, before bing eradicated. For example what happens if the incubation period is extended to say 2 weeks. Then the virus will have the ability to spread before killing its victim. 2 weeks is long enough to get to an airport by person to person contact from almost anywhere.

Nature is will overdue in reducing the Human population, will it be a mutated Ebola or a mutated H5N1 ?



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 02:45 AM
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Bravo to those Canadien researchers. This is good news and we certainly can use some good news.



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 02:57 AM
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6 Years?? Damn, that seems like a long time. I bet you could build a test group real quick with that virus. Do you think there is anyone that is in the hot zone that wouldn't try it out?



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 06:22 PM
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I can see a time when a Federally funded (aka "taxpayer") program is created to make sure "for the good of the children" that everyone gets this inoculation. Will it be like the Polio vaccine but on a larger scale? Where a percentage of folks who would never have even encountered the disease, will contract the disease from the vaccine, and be maimed by or even killed by it?

Scary. I can see a whole lot of Federally mandated innoculations, vaccines, shots, and pills coming down the pipe. Against disease threats real and imagined. Can't wait until mental "diseases" are added to the list and doses of psychotropics issued to everyone as a "vaccine" to that.



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 09:15 PM
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infinite8,

thing is, there was already a vaccine for ebola being tested almost two years ago. But I can't find any updates on the results. I know they had one volunteer, and they were in need of more. It seems it just fell off the radar, though. What happened with it?



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 11:16 PM
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I have currently been researching on the Ebola viruses, and the Marburg virus. They are called Filoviruses. There are three different types of Ebola : Ebola Zaire, Ebola Suddan, and Ebola Reston. Ebola Reston originated in Reston, Virginia USA. However, it can only be contracted. Marburg first appeared in and was documented in Marburg Germany. After monkies being shipped from Africa were infected, and the virus "jumped spiecies."
These filoviruses are very unique because they can freeze themselves, in a sense, they become crystals of virus. They are able to survive for millions of years. Some scientists belive that viruses are a primitive form of early life. Viruses are not a living organism, they are just DNA. This DNA can change just like your DNA. Except more rapidly. Even if we do find a vaccine for one of the four filoviruses, it does not mean that it will work for all of them. And even if we were to vaccinate people, the viruses would probably just mutate to be resistant to the vaccine. So, do we pray for the best and vaccinate everyone we can, hoping to irradicate the mightiest viruses of all time (the Filovirus) just like we did Polio? Or shoud we be carefull and just let the CDC and USAMRID take care of not letting the virus spread, hoping it won't mutate just like the flu does every season. I encourage you all, if this intrests you, to take it from a man who has research, and seen everything first hand. Read THE HOT ZONE by Richard Preston.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 05:56 AM
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Originally posted by Phugedaboudet
I can see a time when a Federally funded (aka "taxpayer") program is created to make sure "for the good of the children" that everyone gets this inoculation. Will it be like the Polio vaccine but on a larger scale? Where a percentage of folks who would never have even encountered the disease, will contract the disease from the vaccine, and be maimed by or even killed by it?

Scary. I can see a whole lot of Federally mandated innoculations, vaccines, shots, and pills coming down the pipe. Against disease threats real and imagined. Can't wait until mental "diseases" are added to the list and doses of psychotropics issued to everyone as a "vaccine" to that.


You're quite an optimist aren't you. Lets try to reserve judgement a bit until we see what develops.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by Jayster
Read THE HOT ZONE by Richard Preston.

'
That is a great book


Also worthy of note is Ebola by William Close which details the first outbreak of Ebola in Zaire in '76.




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