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Friday, 29 May 2015

WHO warns that Ebola crisis isn't over: US Researchers find Ebola 'Achilles heel': Oh! really

Comedy of the year : Liberia celebrates end of Ebola outbreak : Oh really : How can Liberia be free from Ebola when Ebola creators are still at work: Tell me!! How can Liberia be free from Ebola when Bio-war fare laboratories are still at work.

WHO warns that Ebola crisis isn't over

Publish Date: May 29, 2015
WHO warns that Ebola crisis isn't over
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against complacency about the deadly Ebola virus, saying that the crisis isn't over.

"We have to keep our guard up," Sylvie Briand, head of epidemiology at the UN's health agency, told a stock-taking meeting on Ebola in Paris.

Briand said the situation in Guinea, one of the three West African states where Ebola has killed more than 11,000 people, left her "deeply concerned."

Briand warned against hopes that a line could be drawn under the epidemic. stressing that "the crisis isn't over".

"I am afraid there could be another wave that could spread to neighbouring countries," she said.

The WHO official noted that Ebola emerged in Guinea at the end of 2013 and by April of 2014 had practically disappeared there.

It then dramatically bounced back a couple of months later before spreading to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, with a scattering of cases in Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

Liberia was recently declared Ebola-free but Sierra Leone and Guinea remain vulnerable to a resurgence of the lethal virus, the WHO said last week.

Briand was speaking at a two-day conference at the Pasteur Institute in Paris that will assess progress towards treatments and vaccines for Ebola.


Researchers find Ebola 'Achilles heel'

Publish Date: May 27, 2015
Researchers find Ebola 'Achilles heel'
US researchers believe they may have pinpointed the Achilles heel of the Ebola virus, which could hold the key to developing an effective preventative vaccine, a study reported Tuesday.

Research published in the latest issue of mBio, the online journal of the American Society for Microbiology, said scientists believed a protein called Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) was critical for Ebola to infect a host.

"Our study reveals NPC1 to be an Achilles heel for Ebola virus infection," said co-study leader Kartik Chandran, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University.

There are currently no federally approved treatments for Ebola in the United States, and all of the therapies in development elsewhere are designed to attack the virus.

Targeting NPC1 is the first host-based therapeutic approach to combat the disease, which claimed thousands of lives during a devastating outbreak in West Africa last year, the worst in history.

Previous in vitro studies had shown that Ebola enters host cells by binding directly to NPC1 and that blocking the virus's ability to latch on to the protein prevented infection.

To see whether this process was repeated in living organisms, investigators exposed three different kinds of mice to the disease -- normal mice, mice which had been genetically engineered to be completely deficient in NPC1 and mice engineered to have both a normal and a mutant NPC1 level.

While normal mice died from Ebola infection after nine days, mice deficient in NPC1 were completely free of the virus.

"Mice lacking both copies of the NPC1 gene, and therefore devoid of the NPC1 protein, were completely resistant to infection," Chandran said.

"NPC1 is absolutely essential for in vivo pathogenesis, and if you can disrupt this, there are no signs of Ebola virus replication or pathogenesis," added Andrew Herbert, senior research scientist in the Viral Immunology Branch at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Maryland.