PREVAC-UP is expected to have a significant impact on Ebola prevention and control and has the potential to make a significant difference to the management of future Ebola outbreaks as it will provide valuable information on:
The duration of the immune response to Ebola vaccines and the possible need and applicability of a booster dose in adults and/or children. This knowledge will be particularly important for the use of vaccines prophylactically in advance of any Ebola outbreak in countries in sub-Saharan Africa where many are considered at high risk of Ebola virus disease, including subgroups at enhanced risk of acquiring Ebola infection, such as healthcare and frontline workers.
Humoral and cellular responses to Ebola vaccines
Humoral and cellular immune responses to Ebola vaccines. This will be of great importance to better understand the mechanisms of induction of these responses by different vaccines and different vaccine strategies, and to identify early immune correlates of durable antibody responses.
The safety of vaccines
The safety of vaccines, particularly in young children for whom data are lacking.
The effect of malaria and other infections
The effect of malaria and other infections on the durability of the humoral and cellular immune response to Ebola vaccines. This knowledge will inform the development of vaccine schedules in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria and helminth infections are common. This finding may also be valuable in terms of the effect of intercurrent infections on immune responses of vaccines in general.
Community and paticipants
Community and participants understanding of vaccine trials in order to improve trial processes and the ethical conduct of trials.
In addition, PREVAC-UP will contribute to strengthen the capacity for future research in the four African countries involved in the project, through:
Supporting a functional network
Supporting a functional network of clinical and population health research centres able to conduct clinical trials on vaccine and other public health interventions to a very high standard.
Providing a functional laboratory network
Providing a functional laboratory network capable of supporting clinical studies with specific skills that are relevant to vaccine trials such as the capacity of conducting immunological studies; we will also develop capacity for biobanking.
A robust data management infrastruture
A robust data management infrastructure suitable for wide-scale use where real-time reporting and data sharing are integrated.
Establishing a social network within the four sub-Saharian countries
Establishing a social network within the four sub-Saharan countries participating in the trial with the aim of proposing a unique model of articulation and synergy between biomedical researchers, social scientists, decision makers and funders.
Futhermore, this project will increase international cooperation among researchers and funders. It will promote the pursuit of new and existing collaborations between African and European partners through continued research and drug development in an existing consortium that includes public institutions, health authorities, an NGO and pharmaceutical companies.
PREVAC-UP project is funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP2) programme supported by the European Union. PREVAC-UP also benefits from co-funding from Inserm, the NIAID, the LSHTM and the COMAHS as well as host country support from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Mali.