Trojan Horse strategy could fight all Ebola viruses
The research, available in Science online, outlines a novel therapeutic strategy from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Integrated Biotherapeutics and The Scripps Research Institute.
The new strategy uses two antibodies that the scientists used to stop all of the five Ebola viruses from invading human cells. One of the antibodies even protected the mice against lethal doses of Ebola Sudan and Zaire, two of the most dangerous kinds of Ebola.
"It's impossible to predict where the next ebolavirus outbreak will occur or which virus will cause it,” study co-senior author Dr. Jonathan Lai said. “So the best therapy would be a monoclonal antibody that is active against the glycoproteins of all five ebolaviruses — and until our study, no such antibody had demonstrated the ability to do that. We hope that further testing in nonhuman primates will establish our antibodies as safe and effective for treating those exposed to any ebolavirus."
The scientists hope that the same approach will be useful for fighting other viruses that have been difficult to treat.
"We would love to extend this approach to Ebola's distant cousin, Marburg virus, to create a true pan-filovirus therapeutic antibody,” co-senior author Kartik Chandran said. “Furthermore, we hope that our Trojan Horse antibody strategy of targeting viruses in lysosomes might work against other disease-causing viruses like flu, dengue, or Lassa, which, like Ebola, also enter host-cell lysosomes as part of their life cycles."