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National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
http://www.niaid.nih.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 26, 2006

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NIAID MEDIA AVAILABILITY

Vaccine Given Post-Exposure Protects Monkeys Against
Deadly Marburg Virus

WHAT:

Marburg haemorrhagic fever is an uncommon disease. In some outbreaks in Africa, nearly 90 percent of cases have been fatal. Such high mortality rates make Marburg virus, the agent that causes the disease, a great concern for researchers developing medical countermeasures against potential bioterrorist threats. Currently there is no effective way to prevent or treat Marburg virus after someone is infected, but new research appearing in this week’s issue of the journal The Lancet may change that. A study by a group of U.S. and Canadian researchers has revealed that a vaccine made from an attenuated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) and administered to five rhesus macaques 20 to 30 minutes after exposure to a high dose of Marburg virus helped all of them survive. Three control monkeys not protected with the vaccine all died within two weeks. This result demonstrates that it may be possible to use rVSV vaccines to treat Marburg and similar viruses, such as Ebola, after infection. Studies are now in progress to determine how late after exposure these vaccines might be beneficial.

ARTICLE:

“Postexposure protection against Marburg haemorrhagic fever with recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus vectors in non-human primates: an efficacy assessment,” by KM Daddario-DiCaprio et al. The Lancet DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68546-2 (2006). This study was conducted by scientists at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences; the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases; the Public Health Agency of Canada; the University of Manitoba; and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

SPOKESPERSON:

Peter B. Jahrling, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, NIAID Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, is available to comment on the study’s findings.

CONTACT:

To schedule interviews, contact Jason Bardi in the NIAID Media and Public Information Branch, (301) 402-1663, jbardi@niaid.nih.gov.

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at www.niaid.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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Archive

NIAID Archive

Important note: Information on this page was accurate at the time of publication. This page is no longer being updated.
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Last Updated April 26, 2006