While the vaccine currently in use against Ebola disease is only effective against the most virulent “Zaire” strain, researchers in Spain are developing a vaccine against all the five strains of Ebola.
To develop what could be the world’s first such vaccine, researchers at the October 12 Hospital in Madrid are using blood samples taken from three people cured of Ebola in Spain, according to reports.
Small quantities of very effective viral antibodies have been obtained from the three Spanish patients, which the researchers think could be made effective against all the five strains. They are currently experimenting this on mice and believe the result would come out within a year.
A prototype vaccine developed by pharmaceutical group Merck is currently in use to treat the Zaire strain. US medical giant Johnson & Johnson is separately developing an experimental vaccine against two Ebola strains.
The first case of Ebola outside Africa had been reported in Spain in 2014, when a nursing assistant, Teresa Romero, caught it from a patient repatriated from Sierra Leone.