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Fight against Ebola virus: a glimmer of hope!

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A treatment against the Marburg virus the symptoms of which are so similar to those of the famous hemorrhagic fever was just tested successfully.

Besides, both Americans who were contaminated in Liberia are cured.

The first signs of a likely victory of the medicine against the Marburg virus detected for the first time in Africa in 1967 are becoming clearer.

A new genic treatment recently allowed curing for the first time, monkeys infected by this viral agent being the cause of serious hemorrhagic fevers.

The way towards a vaccine is thus opened. Anyway, it is the conclusion of studies published on 20th August 2014 in the American magazine, Science Translational Medicine by Thomas Geisbert, professor of microbiology at the University of Texas, and managing director of the Canadian firm, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals.

According to this American-English tandem, « it is clinically essential to be able of treating patients infected 3 days after when the virus is detectable with a genetic test and appear the first signs of the disease« .

« This genetic antiviral strategy has to allow at least for the virus to be effective against its various strains« , specified Pr Geisbert, who underlined that « this approach can also be applied to Ebola against all its various viral variants« .

He explained to have conducted a study published in 2010 in the Lancet magazine, testing this technique on the same monkey species infected by the Ebola virus.

Moreover, Dr Kent Brantly (33 years old) and Nancy Writebol (60 years old), two American humanitarian workers infected by the Ebola virus while they were looking after patients in Liberia, came out hospital cured.

Before being sent back to the USA, they were treated at first in Africa with the ZMapp, an experimental serum tested on Man.

The sanitary authorities however underlined that it was difficult to estimate the role played in their cure by the serum.

The Marburg virus shows a lethal rate and an evolution of the symptoms so similar to Ebola that it is clinically impossible to differentiate them, pointed out these researchers.


Original text by: Blaise AKAME

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