Robert Lanford (SNPRC)

The Ebola virus kills up to 70% of the people it infects, making it one of the most virulent viruses that infects humans. Scientists around the world are pursuing a preventive vaccine and drug treatments for the Ebola virus, and research with nonhuman primates is providing a powerful means in this pursuit because of the animals’ physiological and immunological similarities to humans. This similarity is key in determining if newly developed vaccines and therapies can provide life-saving and enhancing solutions for humans.

The disease course and pathogenesis of Ebola virus in rhesus and cynomolgus macaques and marmosets is very similar to that of humans. Major characteristics of this disease in nonhuman primates and humans are profound lymphopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation and hemorrhagic and septic shock. Only nonhuman primate models fully recapitulate these key features of disease. Macaques provide highly relevant opportunities to more fully define mechanisms of pathogenesis and, importantly, to test and develop both vaccines and drug therapies against filoviruses. Several vaccines that express Ebola virus antigens in genetically engineered virus vectors have shown efficacy against experimental challenge of immunized macaques with Ebola virus. Encouragingly, human testing of an experimental Ebola vaccine developed by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and the National Institutes of Health will begin soon. Scientists in the Department of Virology and Immunology at Texas Biomedical Research Institute (host institute to the Southwest National Primate Research Center) are testing multiple vaccines and antivirals for Ebola in nonhuman primates that are also showing promising results.

Also, USAMRIID and the National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg used rhesus macaques to develop an experimental triple monoclonal antibody called ZMapp1 that some patients have received. ZMapp is now being produced in tobacco plants by Mapp Biopharmaceuticals, a small biotech company in San Diego. The drug was previously tested in rhesus monkeys at the USAMRIID with promising results. ZMapp is not yet approved for human use.

1Qiu X et al, Reversion of advanced Ebola virus disease in nonhuman primates with ZMapp. Nature. 2014.

Recent NPRC Publications


Callendret B, Vellinga J, Wunderlich K, Rodriguez A, Steigerwald R, Dirmeier U, Cheminay C, Volkmann A, Brasel T, Carrion R, Giavedoni LD, Patterson JL, Mire CE, Geisbert TW, Hooper JW, Weijtens M, Hartkoorn-Pasma J, Custers J, Grazia Pau M, Schuitemaker H, Zahn R
A prophylactic multivalent vaccine against different filovirus species isimmunogenic and provides protection from lethal infections with Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus species in non-human primates.
PLoS One. 2018 Feb 20;13(2):e0192312. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192312.eCollection 2018. 2018.


Du K, Cai H, Park M, Wall TA, Stott MA, Alfson KJ, Griffiths A, Carrion R, Patterson JL, Hawkins AR, Schmidt H, Mathies RA
Multiplexed efficient on-chip sample preparation and sensitive amplification-freedetection of Ebola virus.
Biosens Bioelectron. 2017 May 15;91:489-496. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2016.12.071.Epub 2017 Jan 3. 2017.

Iampietro M, Younan P, Nishida A, Dutta M, Lubaki NM, Santos RI, Koup RA, Katze MG, Bukreyev A
Ebola virus glycoprotein directly triggers T lymphocyte death despite of the lackof infection.
PLoS Pathog. 2017 May 22;13(5):e1006397. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006397.eCollection 2017 May. 2017.

Yi F, Guo J, Dabbagh D, Spear M, He S, Kehn-Hall K, Fontenot J, Yin Y, Bibian M, Park CM, Zheng K, Park HJ, Soloveva V, Gharaibeh D, Retterer C, Zamani R, Pitt ML, Naughton J, Jiang Y, Shang H, Hakami RM, Ling B, Young JAT, Bavari S, Xu X, Feng Y, Wu Y
Discovery of Novel Small-Molecule Inhibitors of LIM Domain Kinase for Inhibiting HIV-1.
J Virol. 2017 Jun 9;91(13). pii: JVI.02418-16. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02418-16. Print2017 Jul 1. 2017.

Younan P, Iampietro M, Nishida A, Ramanathan P, Santos RI, Dutta M, Lubaki NM, Koup RA, Katze MG, Bukreyev A
Ebola Virus Binding to Tim-1 on T Lymphocytes Induces a Cytokine Storm.
MBio. 2017 Sep 26;8(5). pii: mBio.00845-17. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00845-17. 2017.


Recent News Articles and Reference Materials

September 26, 2019
Texas Biomed Continues Testing Ebola Therapies and Vaccines Showing Promise in Outbreak Areas

January 30, 2019
Local scientists find missing puzzle piece in Ebola Virus

January 16, 2019
Another Piece of Ebola Virus Puzzle Identified

December 4, 2018
TX BioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 023 — The Ebola-malaria connection

October 17, 2018
Texas Biomed Scientists Researching Ebola-Malaria Connection

August 8, 2018
New Research Pinpoints Pathways Ebola Virus Uses to Enter Cells

February 22, 2018
Promising Treatment for Ebola Virus to be Tested at Texas Biomed

June 19, 2017
Texas Biomed to Expand High Containment Research Capabilities

June 19, 2017
Ebola vaccine developed in Canada shows promising results

March 13, 2017
Texas Biomed Part of Research Efforts to Screen and Develop Ebola Virus Drug

March 11, 2017
An Ebola vaccine trial yields promising results for protecting wild primates

March 9, 2017
Ebola vaccine promising in chimps but may never be used

November 10, 2016
Antimalarial being tested against Ebola

July 19, 2016
Positive preliminary results of a heat stable Ebola vaccine formulation

May 31, 2016
Fighting Ebola: Texas Biomedical Research Institute working on Ebola countermeasures

January 19, 2016
Profectus begins Phase 1 clinical study of VesiculoVax-vectored Ebola virus vaccine

January 13, 2016
Researchers engineer antibodies that could potently neutralize two deadliest strains of Ebola virus

January 5, 2016
Study Shows High Frequency of Spontaneous Mutation in Ebola Virus

August 7, 2015
Experimental Ebola virus vaccine protects cynomolgus macaques against current EBOV outbreak strain

November 20, 2015
Texas Biomed helps test possible drug against Ebola virus

July 31, 2015
WHO: Trials show new Ebola vaccine is 'highly effective'

July 31, 2015
Trials show new vaccine for Ebola virus ‘highly effective,’ could help prevent future outbreaks

July 31, 2015
Ebola vaccine is 'potential game-changer'

July 14, 2015
Inhalable Ebola vaccine effective in primates

July 8th, 2015
Ebola in graphics: The toll of a tragedy

May 27, 2015
Only 12 Reported Cases of Ebola Remaining in West Africa

May 27, 2015
'Achilles' heel for Ebola virus infection' protein identified

May 13, 2015
Ebola virus disease – Italy

May 11, 2015
WHO: Interview with Pieter Desloovere - Liberia - Ebola

May 9, 2015
The Ebola outbreak in Liberia is over

May 9, 2015
How Liberia got to zero cases of Ebola

May 8, 2015
American doctor declared free of Ebola finds the virus in his eye months later

April, 2015
Liberia succeeds in fighting Ebola with local, sector response

March 30, 2015
New, whole-virus vaccine for Ebola effective in primates

March 26, 2015
Ebola whole virus vaccine shown effective, safe in primates

February 26, 2015
Research shows Asian herb holds promise as treatment for Ebola virus disease

December 17, 2014
WOAI-TV Shares News of Texas Biomed’s Role in Testing a New MIT-Designed Diagnostic for Ebolavirus

December 15th, 2014
Ebola: Infection with another virus reduces death toll

October 24, 2014
SA Express News Reports on Texas Biomed Being at the Forefront of the Ebola Fight

October 24, 2014
KSAT 12 Streams Online the University of the Incarnate Panel Discussion on Ebola Which Includes Texas Biomed Scientist, Dr. Ricardo Carrion

October 7th, 2014
Tough choices ahead in Ebola vaccine trials

October 7th, 2014
Some Ebola experts worry virus may spread more easily than assumed

October 6th, 2014
Protein Sciences Expects To Begin Testing Ebola Vaccine

September 23rd, 2014
Questions and Answers: Estimating the Future Number of Cases in the Ebola Epidemic—Liberia and Sierra Leone, 2014–2015

September 23rd, 2014
FDA Authorizes Tekmira to Provide Treatment to Subjects with Confirmed/Suspected Ebola Virus Infections

September 22, 2014
News 4 San Antonio Story Highlights Ebola Research at Texas Biomed

September 18th, 2014
First volunteer receives new Ebola vaccine in UK trial

September 17th, 2014
British volunteer receives Ebola vaccine in second human trial

September 17th, 2014
Ebola trial volunteer immunised

September 16th, 2014
Joint Congressional Committee Hearing on Ebola in West Africa: A Global Challenge and Public Health Threat

September 16th, 2014
American Doctor Recalls Horror of Contracting Ebola

September 14th, 2014
U.S. military will lead $750 million fight against Ebola in West Africa

September 6th, 2014
Airborne transmission of Ebola unlikely, monkey study shows

September 5th, 2014
Air France accepts responsibility – Without animal transports the European research space will be significantly disrupted. European researchers fear the worst

August 29th, 2014
ZMapp cures monkeys of Ebola virus

August 29th, 2014
Ebola breakthrough as new drug cures all monkeys in trial

August 28th, 2014
Science Magazine: Special Collection: Ebola Virus

August 15th, 2014
WHO ponders treating Ebola-infected people with blood of survivors

August 11th, 2014
Eradicating Ebola: In U.S. Biomedical Research, We Trust

August 10th, 2014
Clinical trial to start soon on GSK Ebola vaccine

August 8th, 2014
First Ebola Vaccine Could Be Less Than a Year Away, Scientist Says

August 8th, 2014
New paper on Ebola–no primate-to-primate transmission seen

August 8th, 2014
Secret serum: Liberia Ebola drug used on Brantly is only one of many in development

August 6th, 2014
Cambridge firm’s Ebola drug carries hope, risk

August 5th, 2014
Animal research behind the scenes in ebola treatment drama

August 5th, 2014
Experimental Ebola drug raises interest, questions

CDC Resource Page: Ebola