Breakthrough in an experimental Ebola therapy

Breakthrough in an experimental Ebola therapy

Two experimental treatments against Ebola are so good that you should now be all patients offered. This is what scientists announced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “We can now say that 90 percent of patients are cured after treatment,” said Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci is a member of an international consortium that has conducted the investigation, coordinated by the world health organization (WHO).

The Ebola epidemic erupted a year ago in the area of Butembo in the North Kivu province. Since at least 1790, people in the Region, according to official Figures, to the Virus died. After the death of the first Ebola patient in Goma, the second largest city in the country, called for the WHO an international health emergency.

Without treatment, about 70 percent die

The Ebola virus, the people may suffer from fever, muscle pain, diarrhea, and in severe cases, internal bleeding and organ failure. The contact of an Infected is enough to infect. Helpers wear special protective clothing. The WHO is concerned because the outbreak is after a year still under control.

The current therapy is based on administration of antibodies – proteins that are normally produced by the immune system and pathogens reside. The antibody of the experimental treatment to be artificially produced.

They act by binding to a protein on the surface of the Ebola Virus and prevent the pathogen in the body can penetrate cells. Since November, four antibodies were tested-Cocktails on about 700 patients. Two of them proved to be highly effective: REGN-EB3 and mAB114. You should now be in all of the patients used the other test set series. This also includes the means of Zmapp, in the research years of the great hope set belongs to.

In mAB114 is an antibody that was obtained from the blood of Ebola Survivors. The Person had been infected in 1995, also in the Congo with the Virus. Prior to the application of people, it had been in the monkey tested. The success rate in the treated monkeys was 100 percent. The free-range animals survived even appeal, if you were given the drug five days after infection.

Patients were treated within a few days after the infection with mAB114 survived for at least 89 percent. In the case of the antibody Cocktail REGN-EB3, there were even 94 percent. The difference is statistically so low that both funds appropriated for use, the researchers argue. In addition, it is better to have two medium-hold, if it should be in the development of the medicines of the problems.

Doctors hope to have more confidence

In the case of the other two agents, every third or every Fourth died in it. For comparison: Without therapy, the mortality rate in the current outbreak at about 70 percent. Patients were assigned to rows according to the random principle one of the four test. Prior to this, many Ebola got Sick, the one remedy that was available at the time. All took part voluntarily.

“Now, where we can say that 90 percent are cured by the treatment, the us trust people more,” said Jean-Jacques Muyembe, Director of the Congo’s National Institute for Biomedical Research. “The first to spread this good news, will be the patients themselves.”

If a real cure would be available, would also look to more patients earlier help, he is sure. Still, there are in the population, mistrust of the treatment. In the population with rumors that Ebola does not exist and that the Doctors would steal blood and body parts for witchcraft are circulating. Treatment centers have been attacked. (For more on the Situation in the country, you can read here.)

The anti-body therapy is not the only means through which Doctors in the fight against Ebola. Also vaccinations to help curb the epidemic. Since August 2018, the Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV-GP is used in the so-called ring vaccination. In this respect, close contacts of Ebola-are Affected selectively immunized. The funding is not approved yet, but according to initial studies, the vaccine protects in 97.5 percent of cases of an infection. In addition, the vaccination increased the chances of Survival of already infected patients.

So far, there are still no drugs specifically approved for Ebola. In 2014, the WHO decided, well, until then, proven resources to use. The reason: the face of the epidemic, be it ethical, not-yet-approved products. In any case, the ethical requirements would have to be met, said the WHO expert. To do this, transparency in all aspects of the treatment of the patients as well as their on reputable information-based consent, medical confidentiality towards third parties and the respect for the Dignity of the patients belong to.

The current study numbers are still preliminary, with the final results, the researchers expect in a few months. This should be as fast as possible published, so that independent scientists can verify.

Summarized: In the case of the current Ebola epidemic are at least died in 1790, people. Two experimental antibody-based therapies give hope that the disease could be cure. About 90 percent of the cases, the funds received within a few days after infection, survived. The active ingredients should, therefore, be asked now to all patients.