Jefferson Researcher Publishes Results of Oral Ebola Vaccine Trial for Chimpanzees
Jefferson researcher and Chair of Microbiology and Immunology, Matthias Schnell, Ph.D., recently completed testing of an oral vaccine to protect chimpanzees against the Ebola virus. Dr. Schnell and coauthors published the results this week in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal.
“Intramuscular injections are somewhat impractical for immunizing chimpanzees in the wild,” Dr. Schnell said. “Our research results indicate that an oral vaccine may be possible, although future studies are needed to verify our preliminary results.”
Ebola is responsible for killing one third of the world’s gorillas. With this finding, there is hope to protect the animal’s greatly affected population.
In addition, the virus is thought to be transmitted from gorillas to humans through hunting practices in Africa. By protecting wild apes from the virus, humans may also benefit.
Jefferson’s contribution to the study included the design and production of the vaccine and the analysis of the immune response of the chimpanzees.