Nat. Microbiol. 3, 670–677 (2018)

Developing an effective vaccine against Ebola virus and other related filoviruses is a top priority for global health organizations. In Nature Microbiology, Flyak et al. provide insights into rational vaccine design steered by the characterization of broadly neutralizing antibodies derived from patients who survived infection with Bundibugyo virus, a member of the genus Ebolavirus. Three cross-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies recognize a conserved epitope, HR2-MPER, that is present near the membrane-proximal external region of viral glycoproteins. This epitope is distinct from previously identified Ebola virus–specific glycoprotein epitopes. Animal-vaccination models show that HR2-MPER peptides can elicit neutralizing antibodies and confer protection against subsequent challenge with Ebola virus. This discovery should aid in the design of vaccines against Ebola virus and emerging filoviral pathogens.