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Article
Nature Medicine  4, 37 - 42 (1998)
doi:10.1038/nm0198-037

Immunization for Ebola virus infection

Ling Xu1, 2, Anthony Sanchez3, Zhi-Yong Yang1, 4, Sherif R. Zaki3, Elizabeth G. Nabel2, Stuart T. Nichol3 & Gary J. Nabel1, 2, 4

  1Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical Center, 1150 West Medical Center Drive, 4520 MSRB I, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0650, USA

  2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, 1150 West Medical Center Drive, 4520 MSRB I, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0650, USA

  3Special Pathogens Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA

  4Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Michigan Medical Center, 1150 West Medical Center Drive, 4520 MSRB I, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0650, USA

Infection by Ebola virus causes rapidly progressive, often fatal, symptoms of fever, hemorrhage and hypotension. Previous attempts to elicit protective immunity for this disease have not met with success. We report here that protection against the lethal effects of Ebola virus can be achieved in an animal model by immunizing with plasmids encoding viral proteins. We analyzed immune responses to the viral nucleoprotein (NP) and the secreted or transmembrane forms of the glycoprotein (sGP or GP) and their ability to protect against infection in a guinea pig infection model analogous to the human disease. Protection was achieved and correlated with antibody titer and antigen-specific T-cell responses to sGP or GP. Immunity to Ebola virus can therefore be developed through genetic vaccination and may facilitate efforts to limit the spread of this disease.

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