Research ArticleEbola

mAbs and Ad-Vectored IFN-α Therapy Rescue Ebola-Infected Nonhuman Primates When Administered After the Detection of Viremia and Symptoms

Science Translational Medicine  16 Oct 2013:
Vol. 5, Issue 207, pp. 207ra143
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3006605

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Every Day Counts

Ebola virus (EBOV) infections cause a deadly hemorrhagic disease for which there are no currently licensed vaccines or treatments. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential of antibody therapy cocktails (ZMAb) for treating EBOV infections; however, there is a limited time window for these therapies to be effective. Because early clinical symptoms of EBOV infection resemble other common pathogens, it is critical to extend this treatment window until positive cases can be confirmed. Now, Qui et al. combine ZMAb therapy with adenovirally delivered interferon-α (Ad-IFN) to extend the EBOV treatment window in nonhuman primates.

The authors dosed macaques that had received a lethal dose of EBOV with a combination of ZMAb and Ad-IFN. Combination therapy with Ad-IFN and ZMAb was 75 and 100% protective in cynomolgus and rhesus macaques, respectively, when administered together at 3 days post-infection. Fifty percent of cynomolgus macaques were protected at 4 days post-infection when Ad-IFN was administered 1 day post-infection. These results suggest that the Ad-IFN and ZMAb combination treatment could be effective after confirmation of EBOV infection as well as could substantially reduce mortality rates of cases diagnosed early after symptom onset.