l. Science News 27 December reports on pages 14-15 the EBOV epidemic in West Africa as the Top Science Story of 2014. The author, Nathan Seppa, writes that this epidemic happened when a contagious virus emerges in a population served by a broken medical system, and where cultural practices, public fears, and porous borders fuel the spread of the epidemic. The epidemic also showed that our scientific understanding of EBOV was poor; researchers/clinicians had mostly only animal studies to go on to develop treatments and vaccines. The WHO response was late and did not keep pace with the spread of the epidemic. The author gives pertinent citations to his statements. See the Science News article and citations (really the referred-to articles) at: https://www.sciencenews.org/node/189469?mode=pick&context=151
2. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology 14 December has an article by Kamata, et. al. from USAMRIID about a protein microarray of EBOV (Zaire strain) glycoprotein (GP) and nucleoprotein (NP), and VP40 antigens which detected IgG antibodies to EBOV (Zaire) vaccination of rhesus monkeys. So now there is a method to detect antibodies to EBOV (and Marburg virus) in domesticated and wild animals in West Africa which are intermediate hosts to EBOV and Marburg. See the entire article at: http://cvi.asm.org/content/21/12/1605.full?sid=9b83f3f4-03aa-404d-a476-37a0de7e9af0
3. NPR radio today interviewed Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust. Dr. Farrar said the Phase 2 trial of the GSK vaccine will start in January, and Phase 2 trials of two other vaccines will start in March.
4. Al Jazeera 24 December has a report on the EBOV situation in Sierra Leone. The report details how their broken medical system, cultural practices, and fear in Sierra Leone led to spread of EBOV in that country. Read the specifics in: rehttp://cvi.asm.org/content/21/12/1605.full?sid=9b83f3f4-03aa-404d-a476-37a0de7e9af0port. West Africa needs constant surveillance for EBOV outbreak and rapid response teams to stop an outbreak in its tracks.