Experimental Treatment for Marburg Virus Shows Promise in Primates — Physician’s First Watch
Experimental Treatment for Marburg Virus Shows Promise in Primates
By Kelly Young
Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD
An experimental treatment resulted in 100% survival in primates infected with Marburg virus, a filovirus — like Ebola — that causes hemorrhagic fever, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine. Currently, there are no Marburg vaccines or treatments approved for human use.
Twenty-one rhesus macaques were infected with lethal doses of Marburg-Angola virus. Sixteen were given 7 daily intravenous doses of the treatment, a lipid-encapsulated, small-interfering RNA that interferes with how the virus grows once it enters a cell.
By day 9, all monkeys given the control treatment had died, whereas all animals given the active treatment survived, even those who didn't start treatment until 72 hours after infection, when clinical symptoms tend to appear.
The researchers, some of whom hold a patent for the therapy studied, previously published research showing that a similar approach protected monkeys from Ebola virus.