Experimental Marburg Vaccine Shows Promise

BETHESDA, Md., June 16 (UPI) — U.S. medical investigators say an experimental vaccine for Marburg hemorrhagic fever continues to show promise in animal tests as an emergency treatment.

The research — overseen by a team from the National Institutes of Health and three other organizations with expertise in viral hemorrhagic fevers — focuses on a vaccine developed as an emergency treatment for accidental exposures to the virus that causes the disease. There is no approved treatment for Marburg infection, which has a high fatality rate.

In a study involving rhesus macaques, 5 of 6 monkeys survived a lethal dose of Marburg virus when treated 24 hours after infection, and 2 of 6 survived when treated 48 hours after infection. But researchers said since rhesus macaques typically succumb to Marburg infection faster than humans, the post-exposure treatment window might be extended even further in humans.

The findings are detailed in the early online edition of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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