Single-Dose Treatment With Vesicular Stomatitis Virus–Based Ebola Virus Vaccine Expressing Ebola Virus–Specific Artificial Micro-RNA Does Not Protect Mice From Lethal Disease

Although significant progress has been made in the development of therapeutics against Ebola virus (EBOV), we sought to expand upon existing strategies and combine an RNAi-based intervention with the approved VSV-EBOV vaccine to conjointly treat and vaccinate patients during an outbreak. We constructed VSV-EBOV vectors expressing artificial miRNAs (amiRNAs) targeting sequences of EBOV proteins. In vitro experiments demonstrated a robust decrease in EBOV replication using a minigenome system and infectious virus. For in vivo evaluation, MA-EBOV-infected CD-1 mice were treated 24 hours after infection with a single dose of the VSV-EBOV-amiRNA constructs. We observed no difference in disease progression or survival compared to the control-treated mice. In summary, while amiRNAs decrease viral replication in vitro, the effect is not sufficient to protect mice from lethal disease, and this therapeutic approach requires further optimization.



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