Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Small Genetic Change May Stop Ebola Virus

During this experiment, scientists used monkeys and changed a single protein in the Ebola virus called VP35, which enables the Ebola virus to block immune responses to infection.  After changing the VP35 protein, it was found that the body's immune system was activated to fight off the Ebola virus.  Not only did this change in protein help fight off the virus, but it also acted as a vaccine in a way and helped to prevent the animal from being infected. After changing this protein, the scientists presented the monkeys with the Ebola virus and the monkeys were completely protected. 

With these findings, scientists want to see if they can make a drug that can change the VP35 protein in humans in order to protect them from getting the Ebola virus.  Of course, just because this method worked in an animal does not necessarily mean that it could work in humans.  They also believe that working with this VP35 protein could also produce immune responses in other diseases as well.

Ebola is a very dangerous virus that has killed a lot of humans.  I am hopeful that this technique in changing the VP35 protein works in humans and that it can help to fight off the Ebola virus, and also prevent it from ever occurring.  Like the article said, perhaps focusing on this virus can also help to prevent or fight off other diseases as well. 


1 comment:

  1. Hi Kylee,

    It's amazing how a simple change in a protein of a virus can create immunity in a species of mammal. It would be life-changing if this immunity conferred to humans, especially since the virus is so deadly. Hopefully altering the genetics of disease-causing agents can be an effective way to prevent a disease from culminating and taking the lives of thousands of people who suffer from it.