THE Kenya Medical Research Institute has begun an Ebola vaccine trial in Kilifi. The first dose of the VSV Ebola vaccine was administered to a health worker on Wednesday at the Kilifi County Hospital. In a statement, Kemri said the Phase 1 trials are part of a World Health Organisation-led consortium funded by the Wellcome Trust. The trials target health workers due to their first-line contact with Ebola patients. “The trials, and other trials in the USA, Germany, Switzerland and Gabon, will test the vaccine’s safety and its ability to generate an immune system response in healthy adults,” Kemri said. “The vaccine is administered as a single dose after which the participants will be monitored closely. Early trial results will be provided in February.” The VSV Ebola vaccine was made by combining the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus with a portion of a single protein covering the Ebola virus. It can generate an immune response to Ebola but since it only contains an isolated component of part of the Ebola virus it cannot cause a vaccinated person to become infected with or to test positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, Kemri has said ASMQ (artesunate mefloquine) fixed dose combination (FDC) has proven safe and efficacious in treating children with uncomplicated P falciparum malaria in Africa, and is non?inferior to artemethen lumefantrine.

The institute said the results of a large clinical trial conducted in three countries in East and West Africa by DNDi proved that ASMQ is safe.

The trial was in partnership with the Central National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme in Burkina Faso, the National Institute for Medical Research, and the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania

“ASMQ FDC is recommended and prequalified by the WHO. It is given once a day for three days, and this is important in improving patient compliance to treatment.”

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