Japan-US team claims progress on Ebola vaccine

Japan-US team claims progress on Ebola vaccine
In a file picture taken on August 6, 2014 protective clothing and facilities are in place at The Royal Free hospital in north London in preparation for a patient testing positive for the Ebola virus.

TOKYO - A Japanese-US team said it has developed a new vaccine against Ebola that can prevent the deadly disease in monkeys exposed to dangerous levels of the virus.

University of Tokyo virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka and his team, which includes scientists from America's National Institutes of Health and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will publish their findings Friday in the online version of the journal Science. Human trials of the vaccine are being planned.

To create the potential lifesaver, the team manipulated the Ebola virus's genetic code, rendering it unable to multiply, and used a hydrogen peroxide solution to weaken it further.

Monkeys given two doses survived exposure to what should have been lethal amounts of the Ebola virus four weeks later, showing no symptoms of infection. Those that did not receive the vaccine died.

No previous Ebola experimental vaccines used the entire virus, the team said. The researchers believe that their vaccine will be highly effective and safe.

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