2014年8月6日 讯 /生物谷BIOON/ --近日，来自斯克里普斯研究所(The Scripps Research Institute)的研究人员通过研究调查了抵御埃博拉病毒的抗体的作用机制，这其中就包括近期用于治疗感染埃博拉病毒的两名美国人的三种抗体，当这两名美国人接受名为ZMapp的实验性抗体混合剂后，其感染症状得到了明显的控制和缓解。
研究者Erica Ollmann Saphire教授表示，目前我们正在利用电子显微镜和X射线晶体学技术对这些抗体的结构进行分析，依靠获取的图像我们发现了免疫系统分子结合埃博拉病毒的方式以及埃博拉病毒如何阻断免疫系统发挥功能，这对于后期开发阻断病毒复制的新型靶向药物很重要。
The conditions of two Americans have reportedly improved since they received a highly experimental antibody cocktail called ZMapp, supplied by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical.
The TSRI laboratories of Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire and Assistant Professor Andrew Ward are studying the structures of these antibodies using techniques called electron microscopy, which creates high-resolution images by hitting samples with electrons, and X-ray crystallography, which determines the atomic structure of crystalline arrays of proteins. Through these images, the team will discover exactly how the immune system molecules bind to the Ebola virus and stop it from functioning, a critical step in drug development.
Ebola virus causes an extremely virulent disease that currently leads to death in 25 to 90 percent of cases. The fast-moving virus is spread via the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person,
"What we're showing are sites of vulnerability on the surface of the virus," said C. Daniel Murin, a graduate student in the Saphire and Ward labs. "These are the chinks in the armor of the virus and the places were you would want your anti-serum to target."
The ZMapp treatment is still in experimental stages and has not yet been approved for use outside the two recent cases. According to Saphire, ZMapp is one of the best antibody cocktails currently known, but there may still be ways to improve it. She is currently leading a $28 million National Institutes of Health-funded consortium to test antibody cocktails from laboratories around the world, with the goal of finding the best for neutralizing Ebola virus and the many other viruses like it.
An ideal antibody cocktail would ease symptoms and improve the prognosis of infected individuals -- it could even work as a preventative measure, protecting healthcare workers before they enter an infected area.
The work on the Ebola virus is part of a larger Vaccine and Global Health Initiative at TSRI, which includes research on HIV/AIDS, influenza and tuberculosis.