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Immunotherapeutics for Ebola Virus Disease: Hope on the Horizon

Authors O'Donnell KL, Marzi A

Received 16 December 2020

Accepted for publication 4 March 2021

Published 18 March 2021 Volume 2021:15 Pages 79—86


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Shein-Chung Chow

Kyle L O’Donnell, Andrea Marzi

Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT, USA

Correspondence: Andrea Marzi Email [email protected]

Abstract: Ebola virus disease (EVD) remains among the biggest public health threats in Africa, even though recently a vaccine was approved for human use. However, in outbreak situations treatment strategies are needed in combination with vaccination campaigns to impact and stop the spread of the disease. Here, we discuss the development of the immunotherapeutics against EDV both targeting the virus itself and bolstering the immunological environment of the host at both the pre-clinical and clinical level. The early development of antibody therapy in preclinical settings and the early pitfalls in the implementation of this therapeutic strategy are discussed. We also consider the advancement of the production, modulation, and specificity of the antibody treatment that garnered increased success in preclinical studies to the point that it was warranted to test them in a clinical setting. Initial clinical trials in an outbreak scenario proved difficult to definitively confirm the efficacy of the implemented treatment. Upon further modification and with the experiences from the challenging outbreak conditions in mind, the PALM clinical trial demonstrated efficacy of an antibody cocktail which recently received approval for human use.

Keywords: Ebolaviruses, filovirus, immune response, monoclonal antibodies, interferon

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