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Therapy for one Ebola strain possible: Indian-origin scientist

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Toronto : In a study that holds promise for developing new drugs against the deadly Ebola virus, a team led by Sachdev Sidhu from the University of Toronto has reported a possible therapy that could help treat patients infected with Sudan Ebola virus (SUDV).

Although not the strain currently devastating West Africa, SUDV has caused widespread illness.

During the study, the team identified an antibody directed against SUDV in mice. They began working towards making a “humanised” version of the antibody.

For this, the team put the ebola-specific part of the mouse antibody onto a human antibody scaffold and made some changes to this molecule.

“These antibodies represent strong immunotherapeutic candidates for the treatment of SUDV infection,” said Sachdev Sidhu from University of Toronto.

According to Sidhu and colleagues John Dye and Jonathan Lai, about 50-90 percent of Ebola patients die after experiencing the typical symptoms of the disease, which include fever, muscle aches, vomiting and bleeding.

Of the five known ebolaviruses, the Zaire (EBOV) and SUDV strains are the most deadly and cause the most recurring outbreaks.

Many studies have focused on EBOV, the culprit of the current epidemic, but much less attention has been placed on SUDV until now, the study concluded.

The study appeared in the journal ACS Chemical Biology.

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