The devastating Ebola virus (EBOV) epidemic in West Africa in 2013-2016 accelerated the progress of several vaccines and antivirals through clinical trials, including the replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus-based vaccine expressing the EBOV glycoprotein (VSV-EBOV). Extensive preclinical testing in animal models demonstrated the prophylactic and post-exposure efficacy of this vaccine, identified the mechanism of protection, and suggested it was safe for human use. Based on these data, VSV-EBOV was extensively tested in phase 1-3 clinical trials in North America, Europe and Africa. Although some side effects of vaccination were observed, these clinical trials showed that the VSV-EBOV was safe and immunogenic in humans. Moreover, the data supported the use of VSV-EBOV as an emergency vaccine in individuals at risk for Ebola virus disease. In this review, we summarize the results of the extensive preclinical and clinical testing of the VSV-EBOV vaccine.
Keywords: VSV-EBOV; animal models; clinical trials; filovirus; phase 1; phase 2; phase 3; preclinical testing.