Team of scientists based at Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has succeeded in defining a “signature” composed of a small number of inflammatory markers that can be monitored in order to understand how a promising anti-Ebola virus vaccine stimulates the immune system.
The researchers inoculated 115 volunteers with either a high dose or a low dose of the rVSV-ZEBOV anti-Ebola vaccine, or with placebo.
By analyzing the differences between the three groups, they found that it is sufficient to monitor only 5 substances that are naturally present in the blood in order to define immune responses to the vaccine.
The “Geneva rVSV-ZEBOV signature” is published in a scientific paper, in Science Translational Medicine.
The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic affected several countries in West Africa, leading to the death of more than 11’000 people.
The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine (recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus-vectored Zaire Ebola vaccine) had already been shown to stimulate the immune system in human volunteers; and in a field trial in 2015 it successfully protected people who had been exposed to Ebola patients from contracting the disease themselves.