Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine found antibodies in the blood of an Ebola survivor that could provide protection against all three disease-causing ebolaviruses. The survivor of a 2013-2016 outbreak had two monoclonal antibodies, ADI-15787 and ADI-15742, out of 349 antibodies, that neutralized five known ebolaviruses.
The survivor of a 2013-2016 outbreak had two monoclonal antibodies, ADI-15787 and ADI-15742, out of 349 antibodies, that neutralized five known ebolaviruses.
The antibodies were tested in animals (mice and ferrets), and the treatment protected them even after exposure to a lethal dose of the Ebola virus, Bundibugyo virus, and Sudan virus. Following this study, the researchers performed further experiments, demonstrating that the two antibodies extracted from the Ebola survivor actually interfere with a part of the process in which the ebolavirus would infect cells then multiply within them. How do they do this? The researchers found that the antibodies would bind to glycoproteins that come off the surface of the virus in the bloodstream and bind to them, marking them for destruction by a lysosome. Instead of being immediately degraded by the lysosome, the antibodies trap the virus in the lysosome.
According to Dr. John M. Dye, “Knowing precisely where the antibodies attach to the glycoprotein molecules and when and how they act to neutralize ebolaviruses, we can begin to craft broadly effective immunotherapies. That knowledge has already allowed us to create a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies that we are testing in larger animal models for possible use in treating infected patients.”
Furthering this research, the group found genes that are responsible for the production of the two antibodies. Why is this useful? The researchers could find a way to stimulate the activity of those genes for the production of the antibodies. So, in essence, you could save yourself from ebola!