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Spanish researchers develop five-strain Ebola vaccine

AFP  |  Madrid 

Spanish researchers are working on a against all five strains of the killer virus in what would be a world first, Madrid's October 12 Hospital said today.

A prototype developed by group is already in use, but acts only against the most virulent, "Zaire" strain.

Despite not having market approval, Merck's rVSV-ZEBOV was administered to people in the in May, with UN approval, in a bid to contain an outbreak of the same virus that killed more than 11,300 in three West African countries from 2013-2015, sparking international panic.

For several months, a team from the October 12 Hospital has been working with researchers at two other hospitals in the capital to examine and learn from blood samples taken from three people cured of in

told reporters the difficulty lay in the fact that the virus protects itself with proteins that act as a shield, and only exposes its vulnerable zones for short periods of time.

That makes it tough for the body's immune system to fight the virus.

The three Spanish patients had produced "very effective" viral antibodies, though in a "small quantity" and only against the Zaire strain they were contaminated with.

Delgado, head of at the hospital, said researchers are aiming to reproduce these on a larger scale, and in a way that would make them efficient against all five virus strains.

giant is separately developing an experimental against two strains.

Delgado said researchers hope to get results from mouse experiments within a year.

The Ebola epidemic caused alarm in in 2014 when a nursing assistant, Teresa Romero, became the first person infected outside She caught the while tending to a Spanish missionary repatriated from Sierra Leone, who died in in September that year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 11 2018. 22:35 IST