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A protective Ebola vaccine

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is still ongoing, but a new study reports that a ring vaccination strategy — in which contacts, and contacts of contacts, of an infected patient are vaccinated — using rVSV-ZEBOV was successful in preventing infection. The vaccine consists of a live-attenuated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) expressing Ebolavirus (EBOV) glycoproteins and was administered to two groups in Guinea: the 'immediate' group (2,104 individuals) received the vaccine shortly after the original patient developed Ebola; and the 'delayed' group (2,380 individuals) was vaccinated 3 weeks after that event. After 10 days of vaccination, none of the vaccinees in the 'immediate' group developed Ebola, whereas 16 individuals from the 'delayed' group developed the disease. The 10-day cut-off was used to account for the incubation time of EBOV and to allow adaptive immune responses induced by the vaccine to develop. These data suggest that this vaccination strategy may be highly protective and could be useful in controlling Ebola outbreaks.


  1. Henao-Restrepo, A. M. et al. Efficacy and effectiveness of an rVSV-vectored vaccine expressing Ebola surface glycoprotein: interim results from the Guinea ring vaccination cluster-randomised trial. Lancet (2015)

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Nunes-Alves, C. A protective Ebola vaccine. Nat Rev Microbiol 13, 526 (2015).

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