Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry has started using the experimental mAb114 Ebola treatment on patients in the east of the country, the first time it has been deployed against an active outbreak.
The vaccine, named mAb114, was developed in the US and has proved 100% effective on monkeys. It was developed using antibodies from a survivor of a 1995 outbreak in DR Congo.
Congolese scientific and ethics committees approved the use of the vaccine – and they are currently assessing four other experimental treatments.
This comes nearly a week after 3,220 doses of another experimental Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBO was made available in North Kivu province.
These treatments could be a game-changer – but there are major challenges in the fight against Ebola.
There is an active conflict in the the east of the country and the population is highly mobile.
The epicentre of the current outbreak is in Mabalako in North Kivu province.
Fifty-seven people are believed to have been infected with the virus – of whom 41 have died