Dr. James Crowe of Vanderbilt University has been on an extensive search to find, and extract blood from patients who have overcome the Ebola virus.
Dr. Crowe plans to use this blood he extracts to break down the proteins and see exactly what goes into making the virus so deadly, and ways to use this information to potentially come up with a treatment. This fight against Ebola is a world wide fight, the virus has already claimed over 7,000 lives and infected countless others.
The goal of this research is to successfully extract the antibodies from the blood. Dr. Crowe has had a difficult time the past two years finding an applicable sample since many people with the virus have passed away or are located in Africa and suffer from other virus’s and diseases disqualify them from the sample pool. Fortunately for the sake of the research, Dr. Crowe was able to find a participant, Dr. Sacra who was infected with the virus while helping out earlier this year. “They can take antibodies they find in my blood and map them out,” Sacra said in an interview. “They are looking for the ones that are most important in neutralizing the virus.”
Many scientists and doctors are behind and back the research of Dr. Crowe, they believe this is a great step in helping get rid of Ebola. Although this is an uphill battle, fighting the virus with the virus seems like the best way to find the vaccine. According to Dr. Crowe, they are working day and night to analyze the blood from Dr. Sacra in hopes to come up with a vaccine as soon as possible.
Hopes are that clinical trials for the vaccine, when completed will begin early to mid 2015. This is a very promising and hopeful expected date for trials considering how recently Dr. Crowe received his sample from Dr. Sacra. According to Crowe, “The antibodies he is working on would be produced in both cell lines and tobacco plants. Vanderbilt will license the most promising drug candidates, and at least four commercial partners, including Mapp, are considering whether to license them.”
For more information regarding Dr. Crowe’s research, please visit CBCarticles for updates.