l. Molecular Pharmaceutics published on-line today an article by Choi, et. al. demonstrating nasal spray of a recombinant adenovirus vaccine against EBOV was successful in non-human primates. Efficacy of the nasal spray was 67%, significantly better than sublingual or intramuscular routes for this vaccine. The full article can be read at: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/mp500646d?journalCode=mpohbp.
2. Dr. Racaniello’s website today refers readers to a CDC review on human-human transmission of EBOV. The first day of symptoms viral particles are at the low limit of detection. Viral particles increase in logarithmic fashion during the symptomatic period of disease. Viral particle count peaks at Day #5 of symptoms. The viral particle counts are higher in patients who succumb to EBOV than patients who survive the disease. No airborne transmission has been proved. See: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/human-transmission.html for the complete CDC review.
3. Defense Threat Reduction Agency has issued a call for proposals to diagnose, map distribution, treat by experimental drug or vaccine the current EBOV outbreak in West Africa. Proposals must address the current outbreak, not future outbreaks. See: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=4644486179fe1388a4c395d0d0527b5e&tab=core&_cview=0 for full description of this call for proposals.
4. The Lancet on October 21st on-line posted an article by Khan, et. al. describing possible airplane transmission of EBOV out of West Africa to other countries. Good news for U.S. and Europe/U.K. is that most airplane flights from West Africa go to low income countries or to moderate income countries. Only 20% of flights out of West Africa go to high income countries. Bad news is that Khan, et. al. estimates that 2.8 persons with EBOV per month take flights out of West Africa. Khan, et. al. says that exit screening is much better than entry screening for symptom detection. A review of this article appears on Page 4,5 of the 25 October issue of New Scientist. The reviewer states that better than exit screening is a rule for mandatory quarantine for 21 days in country before permission to travel out of country is granted. See Khan, et. al. article at: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61828-6/fulltext#back-bib11.
5. WHO reports that Senegal used instant messaging (SMS) to notify citizens of behaviors to avoid EBOV infection. Government sent out over 4 million SMS messages. Citizens were told: wash hands frequently, don’t touch EBOV patients, and don’t eat bushmeat.
Dr. Chan, DG of WHO, blamed Big Pharma’s interest in profits for slow development of vaccines/experimental drugs for EBOV treatment at a conference today. DG is working 18 hours/day and 7 days/week so her normal calm demeanor is ruffled. The U.N. promised country donations are lagging; HCW promised by African Union countries are lagging; 4000 U.S. troopers in West Africa are lagging (1100 troopers on the ground now). Big Pharma operates by the motto: ‘Love is sweet; but business is business’. So does every business and country.