EBOLA UPDATE (11): NEWS, VACCINE, RESEARCH

Posted on 13TH MAR 2017
tagged Ebola, Worldwide

A ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
http://www.isid.org

In this update:
News
- West African regional center for disease control
- Superspreaders
- Nova program on surviving Ebola
Vaccine
- Edible vaccine for apes
- Viral vector vaccines
Research
- Virus strains
- Bushmeat consumption
- Aerial evacuation

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8 Mar 2017 West Africa: West African nations establish regional center for disease control
https://www.newsghana.com.gh/west-african-nations-establish-regional-cen...
[According to a senior official of Ghana who spoke on Wed 8 Mar 2017, health authorities in West Africa have set up a regional Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Abuja, Nigeria to deal with pandemics such as Ebola, a senior official of Ghana said on Wed [8 Mar 2017]. The establishment of the CDC is to ensure that "we are more prepared, in terms of early detection, epidemic surveillance, training of our staff and upgrading their capacity and research so we can combat diseases of the nature of Ebola," Dr. Xavier Crespin, Director-General of the West Africa Health Organization, told President Akufo-Addo during a meeting at the Flagstaff House in Accra. He also said Ghana is serving as the platform for training of staff as the University of Ghana has been chosen for its Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP)].

10 Mar 2017 Superspreaders are local and disproportionate
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6329/1036.1
[Citation. Science 355 (6329):1036. DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6329.1036- http://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/355/6329/1036.1.full.pdf Edited by C Ash and J Smith (10 Mar 2017). Superspreaders are local and disproportionate. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.10.1073/pnas.1614595114 (2017)
Summary. Certain individuals, known as superspreaders, disproportionately infect more people with disease-causing organisms than the average infectious case. Lau et al. identified key drivers of Ebola virus (EBOV) superspreading during the 2014 West Africa outbreak. Unexpectedly, secondary cases largely did not transmit tertiary cases; thus, epidemic growth was fueled and sustained by a few superspreaders, and transmission occurred locally, within 2.5 km of the source. Community-based EBOV cases progressed more rapidly than those identified in clinical care settings. The most infectious age groups tended to be the young or people over 45 years old, which may reflect social structure, such as the intimacy of care needs, or immunological factors. This work helps to identify the most vulnerable groups and provide parameters for control efforts in future outbreaks of EBOV.]

9 Mar 2017: Nova program on "Surviving Ebola"
http://whro.org/tv/46618-nva-srvng-ebl
[Wed 22 Mar 2017: Ebola is one of the most deadly viruses on earth, but that didn't stop relief workers on the frontlines. Meet courageous medical teams encountering unimaginable tragedy, and follow scientists racing to find a cure. Note: Shown on local PBS stations in the US.]

Vaccine
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9 Mar 2017: An edible vaccine for wild apes could revolutionize the Way We Fight Ebola
http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2017/03/an-edible-vaccine-for-wild-apes-could-r...
[Like humans, nonhuman primates can get infected by Ebola [Ebola virus disease (EVD)]. To protect nonhuman primates, and to prevent EVD from spilling over into human populations, scientists have now developed an oral vaccine to combat EVD in the wild. While it appears to be promising, the researchers have run into legal, political, and ethical obstacles that could make it difficult to push the research further.
Ingestible vaccines are nothing new, but this marks the 1st time that scientists have developed one specifically for the purpose of protecting and preserving wild nonhuman primates. This new vaccine, should it ever be put to use, would indirectly help humans by reducing the risk of EVD taking root in nonhuman primate populations, from where it could spread to humans.
[Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Thomas Jefferson University embarked on a project to evaluate] a promising Ebola vaccine called filorab1. By combining it with an inactive version of the rabies virus, the researchers were able to create an oral version of the vaccine. The disabled rabies virus allows the Ebola vaccine to pass more easily into the bloodstream when ingested, triggering a robust immune response.
Over the past 3 decades, EVD has killed about 1/3rd of the world's gorillas and countless chimpanzees. EVD threatens wild nonhuman primates that are already at risk, be it from habitat loss or rampant poaching.]
[The major hurdle to the project is conducting field trials in the NHP with Ebola challenge to test the efficacy of the approach. - Mod.LK]

12 Mar 2017: Ebola vaccines provide immune responses after 1 year: JAMA http://speciality.medicaldialogues.in/ebola-vaccines-provide-immune-resp...
[Immune responses to Ebola vaccines at one year after vaccination are examined in a new study appearing in the 14 Mar 2017 JAMA]
[The Ebola virus vaccine strategies evaluated by the World Health Organization in response to the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa included a heterologous primary and booster vaccination schedule of the adenovirus type 26 vector vaccine encoding Ebola virus glycoprotein (Ad26.ZEBOV) and the modified vaccinia virus Ankara vector vaccine, encoding glycoproteins from Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, and Tai Forest viruses nucleoprotein (MVA-BN-Filo). These vaccines both used a "viral-vector" approach, where a benign virus is modified to safely express key proteins of the target virus, in this case Ebola. This schedule has been shown to induce immune responses that persist for 8 months after primary immunization, with 100 percent of vaccine recipients retaining Ebola virus glycoprotein-specific antibodies. A vaccine that provides durable immune responses is important in maintaining sustained protection against disease, both during outbreaks and outside of an outbreak for at-risk populations.]

Research
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Feb 2017 West Africa: West African Ebola Virus Strains: Unstable and Ready to Invade? http://www.cell.com/cell-host-microbe/pdf/S1931-3128(17)30079-3.pdf
[Citation. Basler C.F. Feb 2017. African Ebola Virus Strains: Unstable and Ready to Invade? Cell Host and Microbe. 21 (3):316-318. 8 March 2017 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2017.02.017
Summary: Recent studies demonstrate that the Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP) acquired an A82V change during the West Africa epidemic and that this change altered the capacity of GP to be activated by host factors, enhancing infection of human cells. How this may alter the outcome of disease remains to be determined.]

10 Mar 2017: The socio-economic drivers of bushmeat consumption during the West African Ebola crisis
http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0005450
[Citation. Ordaz-Nemeth I., Arandjelovic M., Boesch l., et al. (10 Mar 2017). The socio-economic drivers of bushmeat consumption during the West African Ebola crisis. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005450
Abstract. Bushmeat represents an important source of animal protein for humans in tropical Africa. Unsustainable bushmeat hunting is a major threat to wildlife, and its consumption is associated with an increased risk of acquiring zoonotic diseases, such as Ebola virus disease (EVD). During the recent EVD outbreak in West Africa, it is likely that human dietary behavior and local attitudes toward bushmeat consumption changed in response to the crisis, and that the rate of change depended on prevailing socio-economic conditions, including wealth and education. In this study, we therefore investigated the effects of income, education, and literacy on changes in bushmeat consumption during the crisis, as well as complementary changes in daily meal frequency, food diversity and bushmeat preference. More specifically, we tested whether wealthier households with more educated household heads decreased their consumption of bushmeat during the EVD crisis, and whether their daily meal frequency and food diversity remained constant. We used Generalized Linear Mixed Models to analyze interview data from two nationwide household surveys across Liberia. We found an overall decrease in bushmeat consumption during the crisis across all income levels. However, the rate of bushmeat consumption in high-income households decreased less than in low-income households. Daily meal frequency decreased during the crisis, and the diversity of food items and preferences for bushmeat species remained constant. Our multidisciplinary approach to study the impact of EVD can be applied to assess how other disasters affect social-ecological systems and improve our understanding and the management of future crises.]

11 Mar 2017: Aerial medical evacuation of health workers with suspected Ebola virus disease in Guinea Conakry - interest of a negative pressure isolation pod - a case series
http://bmcemergmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12873-017-0121-x
[Citation. Dindart J-M., Peyrouset O., Palich R., et al. (11 Mar 2017). Aerial medical evacuation of health workers with suspected Ebola virus disease in Guinea Conakry-interest of a negative pressure isolation pod - a case series. BMC Emergency Medicine, DOI: 10.1186/s12873-017-0121-x
Abstract. We report 4 cases of Health Workers (HW) suspected of having contracted Ebola virus disease (EVD), transported from the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) Ebola Treatment Center (ETC) in N'Zerekore, Guinea to the Treatment Center for Carers run by the medical corps of the French army in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, which was established on 17 Jan 2015 and closed on 7 Jul 2015. In total, more than 500 HWs have died from EVD since the epidemic began. This mortality has had significant effects on the ability of local services to respond appropriately to the disaster. The HWs were transported by air in the "Human Stretcher Transit Isolator-Total Containment (Oxford) Limited" (HSTI-TCOL) negative-pressure isolation pod. Medical evacuation of patients with suspected, potentially fatal, infectious diseases is feasible with the use of a light isolator for patients without critical dysfunctions.]

[Compiled by: Celeste Whitlow ]

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Communicated by:
ProMED-mail

[A map showing the distribution of EVD cases as of 27 Mar 2016 can be seen at http://apps.who.int/ebola/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/sitrep_ca.... - Mod.LK

ProMED HealthMaps:
Liberia http://healthmap.org/promed/p/54
Guinea http://healthmap.org/promed/p/45
Sierra Leone http://healthmap.org/promed/p/46]

See Also
Ebola update (10): news, research 20170305.4881172
Ebola update (09): news, research, funding 20170226.4866142
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Ebola update (06): research, treatment, funding 20170206.4819835
Ebola update (05): news, vaccine, funding, documentary films 20170129.4801064
Ebola update (04): research 20170123.4786222
Ebola update (03): news, research 20170115.4767977
Ebola update (02): news, research, vaccine, comment 20170108.4750411
Ebola update (01): News, research, vaccine 20170103.4738060
2016
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Ebola update (51): funding, research, miscellaneous 20160731.4383179
Ebola update (50): Liberia, Sierra Leone, research 20160724.4366266
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