Effective therapies for the prevention and treatment of the deadly Ebola virus are urgently needed. A promising approach involves the use of synthetic antisense molecules called phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMOs), which are able to target viral mRNA and suppress translation.
US researchers have previously shown that a combination PMO targeting genes that code for two proteins, VP24 and VP35, protected monkeys from lethal Ebola virus infection. Now, the team has found that a PMO targeting VP24 alone conferred protection, whereas a PMO targeting VP35 alone was ineffective
The finding suggests that VP24 is an important virulence factor encoded by the Ebola virus, the researchers conclude in mBio (online, 10 February 2015). Furthermore, using a single PMO will simplify drug development and regulatory approval.
 Warren TK, Whitehouse CA, Wells J et al. A single phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer targeting VP24 protects rhesus monkeys against lethal Ebola virus infection. mBio 2015. doi:10.1128/mBio.02344-14.