A new technique is being used by researchers to treat the deadly Ebola virus. By using this procedure, researchers successfully treated the virus in the monkeys. The technique has been jointly developed by U. S. Government researchers and a small Canadian biotech company, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals.
In this technique, the monkeys were first exposed to the Zaire strain of Ebola virus. It is the most lethal strain of virus and kills around 90% of the people it infects.
Ebola virus is mainly found in Africa and causes serious hemorrhagic fevers that can prove deadly. It threatens humans, monkeys and also endangered gorilla populations. There is currently no cure or vaccine for Ebola.
Researchers utilized small interfering genetic material - called RNA or siRNAs - that can block the action of a gene. It prevents the dangerous Ebola virus from replicating itself and the immune system then gears up to fight the virus.
In the tests, all the four rhesus monkeys infected with high doses of Ebola were able to survive after they received injections of siRNAs for seven days. They feel that the initial results of this technique are very promising and can be used in people infected with Ebola virus.
It will still take almost 5 years for developing this treatment before this can be used in the human beings.