This drug can treat Lassa fever

ANI | Updated: Sep 06, 2017 08:12 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 06 (ANI): Good news! A team of researchers has discovered a treatment that provided 100 percent protection against one of the most deadly viruses in the world eight, days after they became infected.

Lassa fever is an acute and often fatal viral disease, with fever, occurring chiefly in West Africa, which is usually acquired from infected rats.

The findings indicated that a combination of three monoclonal antibodies and gave them to nonhuman primates, beginning up to eight days, following exposure to a lethal amount of Lassa virus.

The virus, for which there are no approved vaccines or treatments, infects hundreds of thousands of people every year and kills approximately 34 percent of those infected.

Thomas Geisbert from the University Of Texas Medical Branch At Galveston said that they found that the treatments were well-tolerated and provided 100 percent protection from Lassa fever.

Without treatment, the animals show evidence of the virus in their bodies by day four after exposure.

Monoclonal antibodies are widely used for treating cancers and autoimmune diseases and more than 45 different types are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency.

"The fact that the treatment was able to rescue 100 percent of the animals more than a week after infection with Lassa virus suggests that this therapy may benefit patients with Lassa fever in West Africa, who often arrive at the clinic at a late stage of disease," said another researcher Robert Garry.

The findings appear in journal of Nature Medicine. (ANI)