Science 2 min read

Japan to Begin Human Trials of New Ebola Vaccine

ChiccoDodiFC / Shutterstock.com

ChiccoDodiFC / Shutterstock.com

Japanese researchers developed a new Ebola vaccine using an inactive form of the said virus. The team will start testing it on humans later this month.

Scientists in Japan are conducting the country’s first human trial of a new Ebola vaccine.

Ebola virus disease is a rare but severe and often fatal illness.

According to the World Health Organization, the average EVD case fatality rate is around 50 percent. However, case fatality in the previous outbreaks has varied between 25 percent and 90 percent.

Since the diseases cannot be transmitted through air, it’s considered moderately contagious. Be that as it may, Ebola is highly infectious.

Contact with blood, body fluids, secretions, or organs of an infected person can spread the virus. Also, humans can get Ebola virus from butchering an infected animal.

Now, researchers at the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo have developed a vaccine. Even better, they’ll begin human trials of the new Ebola vaccine.

In a press release, a professor of infectious diseases at the University who helped develop the vaccine, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, wrote:

“We think there’s high hope for a new, safe vaccine that can be produced effectively.”

Developing an Ebola Vaccine to Fight an Epidemic

The new Ebola vaccine uses an inactivated form of the ebola virus that can only effectively replicate in artificial cells. After testing the vaccine in monkeys, the scientists are moving to the human trials phase.

According to the press release, the University will begin clinical study later in December 2019.

In this part of the study, the scientists intend to inject two doses of the Ebola vaccine into 30 healthy adults. The vaccination will occur four weeks apart, while the scientists check for side effects.

Over time, the researchers would monitor whether the participants develop immunity to Ebola.

Several Ebola vaccines already exist.

For example, the rVSV-ZEBOV went through a human trial in Guinea back in 2015, where it proved useful. Similarly, a new Ebola vaccine by a Belgian subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson went into use last month in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

With their new formula, the University of Tokyo team hopes to make the treatment even safer.

Read More: Scientists use AI to Create “Turbo-charged” Flu Vaccine

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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