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NIAID-supported discovery could lead to therapy for deadly illness.

Recent Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks, including the 2013-2016 epidemic that ravaged West Africa and the 2018 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, highlight the need for licensed treatments for this often-deadly disease. ZMapp, an experimental therapy comprising three monoclonal antibodies, has shown promise in a clinical trial, but it targets only one of the five known species of Ebola virus. Now, scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have discovered a set of powerful, broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) in the blood of EVD survivors. In animal studies, two of these antibodies provided substantial protection against disease caused by Zaire ebolavirus, Bundibugyo ebolavirus and Sudan ebolavirus, the three species known to cause fatal human illness.

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