Vaccine for EBOLA?

There are several things about Ebola that we do not know, such as where the virus remains during dormant periods. Some reserchers think that Ebola lives and reproduces in a natural host, but no one knows what that host is, nor how the virus is carried to humans. In addition, there are no known ways to prevent or really effectively treat the virus, except for educating the general public and working with the virus only under Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) conditions.

However, researchers at Louisiana State University Medical Center have recently discovered something important about Ebola: that it bears similarities to the virus that causes AIDS.
Similarities were found in the sequences of amino acids that stud the surfaces of HIV and Ebola and the LSU team was even able to synthesize an Ebola virus protein sequence that could lead to the development of a drug that blocks its power to infect.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor and the CDC are also currently exploring the development of a possible vaccine, a risk-free innoculation that will protect against the Ebola virus. By injecting 16 guinea pigs with the genes that normally encode the virus' proteins, the researchers were able to render 15 of the pigs immune to Ebola when exposed to it less than 2 months later, while six unvaccinated guinea pigs died. Of the 10 guinea pigs exposed to the live virus 4 months after inoculation, 7 survived and all of the unvaccinated animals died.

An Army research team is also venturing into making a vaccine a different way: they generate a self-replicating RNA molecule from a modified Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and use it to carry an Ebola or Marburg virus gene that encodes a glycoprotein.

Just recently, the team has just begun testing their technique on cynomolgus macaque monkeys, the first study of primates using an Ebola gene vaccine.