Scientist found a way to test Ebola in affordable facilities

By Staff Writer

Jan 13, 2016 05:10 AM EST

Scientists found a way to test Ebola in much less expensive facilities, which will make it easier for the health care industry to find prevention or treatment against the disease.

According to Gizmodo, there are an increasing number of experts researching about the treatment for Ebola. It is not a dramatic increase since testing the virus must be in the level 4 containment facility, as required by the CDC guidelines. Now, the Toronto General Research Institute, the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, University of Toronto, the US National Institutes of Health, and the Canadian Blood Services found a way to have the virus tested in a more affordable level 2 facility.

The team from Toronto found that Ebola can be transformed into a "Virus-like particle" (VLP), which are viruses that have their genome extracted. The research head Dr. Eleanor Fish said that these VLPS are still capable of getting into cells. Since these types of viruses are not infectious, they can be tested in level 2 containment facilities.  

In a report by News Medical, TGRI, Canadian Blood Service, and Centre for Innovation senior scientist Dr. Donald Branch, said "It was found that drugs normally used to treat HIV/AIDS were also effective at inhibiting Ebola, alone, but more so in combination with interferon beta."

"We tested combinations because lower doses of each drug can be used, potentially decreasing side effects," said Dr. Fish in a report by Economic Times. "Using this technology, scientists will be able to measure the inhibitory effects of their experimental drugs on the replication of Ebola virus, allowing us to compare results with confidence. This approach will also decrease the possibility of the emergence of drug resistance."

Ultimately, their findings, which was published in the Journal of Neglected Diseases, shows that a more affordable lab can provide the same results as the level 4 facility. This could lead to more promising tests and research done on Ebola soon.

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