Researchers have developed a single vaccine which protects against both rabies and Ebola virus. These two viruses are related to each other, but do not cross-react serologically. By inserting elements of the Ebola virus GP protein into an existing rabies virus vaccine, a single bivalent vaccine was produced. Although it works in the laboratory, the new vaccine – or something similar based on this first attempt – need to be tested in primates and eventually in humans.
Apart from people, Ebola virus is thought to have eradicated thousands of gorillas, prompting the World Conservation Union to raise their status to “critically endangered” in 2007, the first time a mammal has become critically endangered as a direct result of disease. Vaccination could help prevent future deaths.
Inactivated or Live-Attenuated Bivalent Vaccines that Confer Protection against Rabies and Ebola Viruses. J Virol. Aug 17 2011
The search for a safe and efficacious vaccine for Ebola virus continues as no current vaccine candidate is nearing licensure. We have developed (a) replication-competent, (b) replication-deficient, and (c) chemically inactivated rabies virus (RABV) vaccines expressing Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) glycoprotein (GP) using a reverse genetics system based on the SAD B19 RABV wildlife vaccine. ZEBOV GP is efficiently expressed by these vaccine candidates and is incorporated into virions. The vaccine candidates were avirulent after inoculation of adult mice, and viruses with a deletion in the RABV glycoprotein have greatly reduced neurovirulence after intracerebral inoculation in suckling mice. Immunization with live or inactivated RABV vaccines expressing ZEBOV GP induced humoral immunity against each virus and conferred protection from both lethal RABV and EBOV challenge in mice. The bivalent RABV/ZEBOV vaccines described here have several distinct advantages that may speed the development of inactivated vaccines for use in humans and potentially live or inactivated vaccines for endemic nonhuman primates at risk of EBOV infection.