Hong Kong pro-democracy activists clash with police as they try to encircle government HQ, in a fresh outbreak of unrest.
Pope Francis urges Muslim leaders worldwide to speak up clearly and condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam.
The latest Ebola outbreak has dwarfed any that have occurred since the discovery of the virus in 1976; previous outbreaks have had lethality rates of up to 90 percent. Yet no vaccines or therapies are currently approved for human use, which limits our ability to treat patients and contain the outbreak. Mixtures of monoclonal antibodies (see sidebar) are a potential treatment option that has been used experimentally.
Monoclonal antibodies bind to a single structural feature on an infectious agent, such as the Ebola virus. These antibodies act as markers to flag down immune cells that destroy the foreign matter. Some antibodies can also be neutralizing, in that they block the harmful biological effects of a virus or prevent the budding of new virus particles. Mixtures of antibodies increase the treatment’s efficacy by limiting the opportunity of a mutant virus to escape recognition.
Two specific monoclonal antibody mixtures have been extensively evaluated: MB-003 and ZMAb. ZMab contains both neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies. In contrast, MB-003 antibodies are not neutralizing when administered alone. Recently, both MB-003 and ZMab have been combined into a single treatment named ZMapp that has shown increased efficacy. ZMapp has been successfully administered to human patients who have contracted Ebola during the current outbreak.