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Russian scientists develop Ebola vaccine

Russian scientists develop Ebola vaccine

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Moscow: Russian researchers have developed a candidate vaccine to protect against the deadly Ebola virus which will soon undergo human clinical trials in Africa.

A group of scientists at the St Petersburg-based Research Institute of Influenza developed the vaccine and its trials are due to complete in Africa in February. "The candidate vaccine against Ebola created by a group of young scientists of our institute is undergoing tests for genetic stability," said Oleg Kiselev, director of the Research Institute of Influenza.

The vaccine will be first tested on animals. The clinical tests involving volunteers will be conducted in Africa, Russian news agency Itar-TASS reported. All the stages of trials are due to wrap up in February, Kiselev said.

Last week, researchers from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the US reported that the first trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine in an African population has shown it is safe for use.

Researchers in China have also developed a vaccine to combat the spread of deadly Ebola virus and will test the drug on humans. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the death toll from the current Ebola outbreak has reached 7,693 and as many as 19,695 have been infected. Most deaths were reported in the hardest-hit West African countries - Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

first published:December 29, 2014, 16:55 IST