Health Ebola treatment developed by Queensland-led team

Ebola treatment developed by Queensland-led team

A new, effective Ebola treatment using antibodies from horses is an economical option for low-income African countries.

It’s the first time that equine antibodies have been shown to work effectively against Ebola infection.

The treatment could also be used to help contain future Ebola outbreaks.

The research was led by UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience’s Professor Alexander Khromykh and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute’s Professor Andreas Suhrbier.

“This is a cost-effective treatment that can be used in low-income countries in Africa where equine production facilities are already in operation for producing snake-bite antivenin,” Professor Khromykh said.

The most recent and largest recorded outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa killed more than 11,000 people and led to an acceleration of research on development of vaccines and therapies.

Professor Khromykh said the treatments initially developed in response to this outbreak required considerable investment for manufacture and are expensive.

“Antibodies from vaccinated horses are a considerably cheaper alternative and are already in use for rabies, botulism and diphtheria,” he said.

UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Head Professor Paul Young, who was part of the research team, said the finding offered great hope as a rapid treatment option for Ebola patients

“It’s a significant advance on the way we think about responding to urgent disease threats, and could be applied to the treatment of other infectious diseases,” he said.

“It is also a far more appropriate option for resource-poor settings.”

Read more about this exciting breakthrough here. Story credit: University of Queensland newsroom.

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