Two is Better Than One: Combatting the Ebola Virus

Many people associate Ebola with the previous viral epidemic of the last decade, but, especially in light of the current global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, few are aware that there is currently an active outbreak occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This deadly virus continues to wreak havoc in Africa, where containment of the virus fluctuates as new cases are reported. Researchers from the lab of James Crowe (Pediatrics) are hoping to change the narrative, reporting in Immunity that they have developed a new therapeutic cocktail against multiple strains of the Ebola virus that not only protects but also limits virus mutation so that it cannot spread to others.

By using a panel of antibodies from Ebola survivors, first author Pavlo Gilchuk and colleagues identified two antibodies that bind to different portions of the virus, allowing for a high rate of recognition and neutralization of the virus within an infected individual. The team discovered that one antibody enhanced the binding of the other, creating cooperativity within the cocktail, and demonstrated that the combination could recognize all three of the Ebola virus strains that have resulted in outbreaks.

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