19 February 2015 -- WHO has assessed and today listed the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test Kit (Corgenix, USA) as eligible for procurement to Ebola affected countries. The test was evaluated under WHO’s Emergency Assessment and Use, a procedure established to provide minimum quality, safety and performance assurance for diagnostic products in the context of the Ebola emergency.
Ebola is currently being tested in laboratories largely through the detection of the virus’s nucleic acid (genetic material), using commercial or in-house tests. Nucleic acid tests (NATs) are more accurate but are complex to use and require well-established laboratories and fully trained personnel. In addition, turn-around time can vary between 12 and 24 hours.
On 8 January 2015, WHO held its second high-level meeting on Ebola vaccine access and financing. Preliminary data from Phase I clinical trials of two Ebola vaccines were presented to a gathering of government officials, vaccine manufacturers, research institutions and international partners at WHO’s headquarters in Geneva on 8 January showed encouraging results.
Ebola specific prevention and treatment tools do not exist at the moment. In response to the severity and breadth of the current epidemic in West Africa, WHO has been spearheading efforts to galvanize the research and development of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics to curb the outbreak and ensure that these tools, if safe and effective, are also available for potential future outbreaks. To that end, WHO has convened the affected countries, donor and scientific communities, civil society and industry to gather the best evidence available and garner support for accelerated development and testing of the most promising tools. Two vaccines now being tested for safety could go into late phase trials in early 2015 and if results are positive they could be available to the affected populations by mid-next year.
18 February 2015
Drug Alert 1/2015: Artemether Lumefantrine (English and French versions)
Falsified anti-malarial medicine circulating in West Africa
27 November 2014
An international meeting held in Oslo, Norway, on 13-14 November, focused on the responsible use of antibiotics and other anti-infection medicines to curb rising resistance in humans to these important public health tools.