A new antibody treatment that protect against the deadly Marburg virus, has been identified by a team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).
"These antibodies attack a new site on Marburg virus we had not seen before," said Erica Ollmann Saphire, senior author of the new study, professor at TSRI and director of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium.
Currently there are no vaccines for Marburg infections, which has a mortality rate up to 90 percent. The new antibodies identify and neutralize Marburg virus.
The new study found a molecular structure that Marburg virus uses to attach to enter host cells.
TSRI, Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Biotherapeutics and BioSolutions collaborated in an academic-industrial partnership to conduct the study.
The new antibodies target a new site on Marburg virus, which was not seen before - a wing-like feature attached to the base of the virus.
The new antibodies protected 90 to 100 percent of the infected animal models from the deadly disease. Researchers said that some antibodies can also cross-react with Ebola virus.
Marnie Fusco, TSRI Research Assistant and first author of the study, said, "We expect both Marburg virus and Ebola virus to emerge again and to acquire new mutations. The cross-reactive antibodies could be used as diagnostics for newly emerging strains."