BOSTON, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As Ebola resurfaces in the Democratic Republic of Congo with four deaths and 20 suspected cases now reported, a new analysis of the Ebola gene polymerase Replikin Count, via the PubMed database, showed a correlation between the 2014 and 2017 outbreaks of the disease.
Ebola gene Replikin counts rose sharply in 2012-13, which preceded the 2014 outbreak. An analysis of the latest data showed another rise in the Ebola gene Replikin counts in 2014-15, which again precedes the current outbreak in the DRC. Sequence data for 2016 and 2017 are not yet available from PubMed.
"The ability to predict an outbreak or pandemic a year or more before its onset can help save hundreds if not thousands of lives," noted Samuel Bogoch, MD, PhD, chairman of Replikins Ltd., a Boston-based biotechnology firm that has analyzed and tracked the genomic sequences of some of today's most lethal infectious diseases including Zika, SARS, Mers, and others.
The objective, quantitative, automated Ebola gene Replikin Count measure of an increase may be the only such gene data available and has been submitted for publication in The Lancet and Science. It suggests that there should be no hesitation in instituting the maximal immediate response to the current outbreak of the Ebola virus with its 40-70% lethality rate.
The genomic data Dr. Bogoch and his colleagues have analyzed may be useful in the current debate about how and when to respond to the present Ebola outbreak. "Uncertainty about the severity and course of the current Ebola outbreak may again delay implementation of maximal defensive moves," he added.
Time is being lost, as was the case in the 2014 Ebola outbreak when 11,000 people died. Public health officials are addressing these questions:
- Is it time to advise against travel to the area?
- Should maximal efforts be made at this time to obtain WHO and national government clearance for the immediate application of early promising ring vaccine candidates?
Replikins are a group of gene peptides discovered by Drs. Sam and Elenore Bogoch that are associated with rapid replication; they are 7 to 50 amino acids long and are sequences that are specific to amino acids, and spaces between that are identified and counted by an automated process. The Bogochs' research has shown that Replikin concentration increases before outbreaks and decreases before cessation.
Samuel Bogoch, MD, PhD
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SOURCE Replikins Ltd.