Teams in Europe and the U.S. have identified a host protein called
Niemann-Pick disease type C1 that is required for Ebola virus to enter cells,1,2 and both groups are developing small molecules that target the entry protein. Both teams also are pursuing challenge studies in animals with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.
Ebola is a filovirus that causes a rapid hemorrhagic fever. In many outbreaks mortality exceeds 75%. The infection is a public health threat in regions of central Africa, where the virus is endemic, but also worldwide due to imported infections and the potential for bioterrorism. There are no effective vaccines or antivirals. The current standard of treatment is supportive care while the body tries to fight the infection.
The two teams