by Andrew Liptak
There’s a new tool in the fight against Ebola in West Africa: rVSV-ZEBOV, a vaccine that has recently concluded a study phase, with researchers finding that it was incredibly effective against the deadly disease. While it’s still in trial stages, the drug appears to be a promising tool moving forward.
In a study published in The Lancet on July 31st, 2015, a team of researchers followed the effects of a vaccine trial that began in April of this year in Guinea. rVSV-ZEBOV has been in development from a Canadian company since 2011, and was tested on 7651 between 90 clusters of the disease. Individuals in 48 of the clusters were given the vaccine right away, while individuals in the other 42 clusters were given the vaccine after a delay of 21 days. In the groups given the vaccine immediately, no individuals came down with Ebola, while 16 individuals in the other side presented with the disease. The groups were randomized, with the groups equally represented among populated and rural areas.
Researchers adopted a strategy used in other infectious diseases, such as Smallpox: a ringed vaccination approach, where individuals surrounding a cluster given the vaccine over a geographical area: “Ring vaccination is defined as the vaccination of a cluster of individuals at high risk of infection, owing to their social or geographical connection to a confirmed index case.” Read full on io9