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expert reaction to identification of 53 existing drugs that could potentially be effective against the Ebola virus

A study published in the journal Emerging Microbes and Infection has examined the use of existing drugs for the prevention of transmission of Ebola. They describe the use of a test to screen for effective drugs, and report the identification of 53 existing compounds which block the entry of Ebola virus-like particles into cells.


Dr Ben Neuman, Lecturer in Virology, University of Reading, said:

“On the positive side, this study extends the list of drugs that are safe to use in people, and have been shown to interfere with Ebola in the lab. However, as with other RNA viruses, it takes a lot to stop Ebola and none of the drugs identified in this study has been shown to protect an experimental animal yet.

“These drugs also block the virus in a similar way to the promising treatment ZMapp – what we really need are drugs that attack the virus in different ways, and could be complement ZMapp in multi-drug therapies.

“We now have a longer list of things that might work, but the list of things that definitely will work still unfortunately stands at zero”


Identification of 53 compounds that block Ebola virus-like particle entry via a repurposing screen of approved drugs’ by Kouznetsova et al. published in Emerging Microbes and Infections on Wednesday 17th December. 


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