With the help of some very special cattle in Americas heartland, Ebola virus may have a new enemy.

Genetically engineered Holstein-Jersey cross cattle are producing human antibodies. The same antibodies that Ebola survivors produce and are transplanted into infected people as a treatment. Ebola survivor Dr Kent Brantly has given over a gallon of his blood, from which antibody rich serum is taken, for these treatments. Now, with these special cattle that essentially have human immune systems, researchers can harvest 30 to 60 liters of plasma each month, or the equivalent of 500-1000 human doses per month per animal.

So, does it work? Well, Ebola is a very hearty virus but scientists have shown they can protect mice one day after infection but not at day two. The human antibody producing cattle however, if they can prove efficacy, provide hope to move the treatment to non-human primates and humans quite quickly. Truly amazing science in the fight against this horrific virus.   


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