A major contribution to eradicating Ebola has been made by a project receiving funding from Horizon 2020.
The ‘Ebola Virus Disease – correlates of protection, determinants of outcome, and clinical management’, or EVIDENT, project is supported with €1.7m of funding and has allowed scientists to map the genetic evolution of the Ebola virus. It is part of the larger EU-funded European Mobile Laboratory, which was the first rapid response diagnostics unit deployed to the outbreak epicentre in Guinea, west Africa.
The team of scientists has confirmed that the Ebola virus mutations in the recent outbreak have been fewer than feared. The findings mean that the diagnostic tools and treatments currently being developed should be effective in fighting the outbreak given the lower degree of virus mutations.
Welcoming the project’s success, Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “In the fight against infectious diseases, we have to know our enemy. Effective treatments can only be designed if we know exactly how the Ebola virus mutates.
“Thanks to EU research funding, the breakthrough study by the EVIDENT project has made a huge step towards eradicating the deadly impact of Ebola. The Ebola outbreak in west Africa showed the entire world that we need to invest more resources into research to fight epidemics.”
The results of the investigation are published in the journal Nature.