Ebola and Marburg infection is a type of hemorrhagic fever that affects multiple organs of the body and leads to severe illness. These two viruses are native to Africa where intermittent outbreaks of these infections have occurred for decades. Ebola and Marburg viruses live in animal hosts and humans get affected when they come in contact with that infected animal. After this initial transmission the viruses can spread from person to person through contact with contaminated needles and body fluids.
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According to World Health Organization (WHO), Marburg and Ebola viruses are the two members of Filoviridae family (filovirus). Though caused by different viruses, the two diseases are clinically similar. Both diseases are rare and have the capacity to cause dramatic outbreaks with high fatality rates. The early sign and symptoms of these infections include fever, joint and muscle aches, severe headache, chills, weakness and sore throat. While in severe conditions major symptoms observed are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pain and cough, stomach pain and excessive bleeding from the mouth, nose, ears, rectum and eye.
The transmission of these viruses from animals was observed due to exposure of humans to infected animals body fluids. Transmission can happen through blood i.e. butchering or consuming infected animals can spread the virus while some of the veterinarians and scientists have also acquired this virus while operating any infected animal. Transmission through waste products of infected animals was observed in tourists visiting some African caves and also in mine workers that work underground possibly gets affected with Marburg virus. The high prevalence of Ebola and Marburg infection transmission from human to human was observed mostly in family members and doctors providing assistance especially witnessed in remote parts of Africa.
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The diagnosis of Ebola and Marburg infections is complex as the initial symptoms observed in patients are same as for other infections such as typhoid and malaria. In infected individuals high concentration of Ebola and Marburg virus is found in the blood which is analyzed in laboratories by carrying out enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR). There is currently no drug treatment for Ebola and Marburg infections hence the treatment consists of supportive hospital care including fluids, adequate blood pressure maintenance, replacing blood loss and treating any other infections that develop.
The major drivers of Ebola and Marburg infections are high awareness and initiated government program in Africa, high research and development investments in diagnostic and treatment studies and government and NGOs support for the market players to research effective treatment. The major restraint of this market is, infections are geography specific and are found in North-East Africa and Philippines very rare cases were observed apart from these regions. The regions those are more prone to Ebola and Marburg infections from Africa are Gabon, Congo, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Angola.
The drugs under pipeline are RC-EBODNA023-00-VP Vaccine + VRC-MARDNA025-00-VP Vaccine (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), ST-383 (SIGA Technologies Inc), Vaccine for Filovirus (Crucell N.V), Polyvalent DNA Vaccine (Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), MVA-BN-Filoviruses Vaccine (Bavarian Nordic A/S), Monoclonal Antibody to Inhibit Glycoprotein for Marburg Virus Infection, TKM-Ebola (Tekmira Pharmaceuticals) are among others.
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Most of the players of this market that are investing currently in R&D to come up with an effective treatment against Ebola and Marburg infections such as SIGA Technologies Inc., Bavarian Nordic A/S, NanoViricides, Inc., AlphaVax, Inc., Crucell N.V., Functional Genetics, Inc., Okairos AG, Immunovaccine, Inc., Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc.