EVIDENT: current activities
Hoping that we are witnessing the end of the EVD outbreak we keep evaluating putative biomarkers of outcome in the BSL4 laboratory in Hamburg. Our current efforts are focused on the analysis of soluble biomarkers in plasma samples, immune markers of virus transmission, and multivariate analysis to find signatures of fatal EVD. A novelty has been the initiation of genetic studies that should lead to the dissection of genetic signatures of human resistance to EBOV. This work, in collaboration with other partners in the field intends to integrate genetic data together with clinical, epidemiological and immunological findings. This integrative approach will help to provide insight into basic mechanisms of EVD pathophysiology in humans and should aid the design of highly needed post-exposure therapies.
The EVIDENT team is continuing the studies on the human immune response to Ebola virus infection which will support the understanding of immunity induced by vaccines. The research team has now assessed the antibody and cellular response of 130 Ebola disease survivors. Initial studies suggest that both arms of the adaptive immune response are strong and long lived. Additional funding from the food and drug administration will enable the team to monitor EBOV immunity in the cohort for another three years.