Viruses can be spread by kissing, coughing, touching and even by touching objects, including food, a new study has found.
The new research suggests people should avoid touching objects that could have been contaminated with the virus.
The findings could help prevent outbreaks, as people with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to the virus spreading in the environment, the study’s lead author said.
Read more:Viruses can make you sick, researchers sayThe study of the virus in India, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, found that people who were infected with Ebola and who had received oral polio vaccines had significantly lower levels of virus-specific IgG antibodies, or antibodies that detect a specific strain of the disease.
The levels of IgG also tended to be lower in people who had not received oral vaccines.
The team found the vaccine-induced decrease in IgG antibody levels was more pronounced in people with weakened immune systems, such as those with asthma, diabetes, and other conditions.
The study also found the reduction in IgM levels was greatest in people whose immune systems were compromised.
In the current study, researchers analyzed data from 1,081 participants, including 2,872 people who received the oral polio vaccine (OPV) and 1,722 people who did not receive the vaccine.
Participants with impaired immune systems had higher levels of antibodies to IgG and IgM and lower levels to IgM, the authors wrote.
In contrast, those with weakened immunity, who had low levels of immune system antibodies, had lower levels for IgG.
They also had lower IgM.
This pattern of results suggests that the protective antibody responses observed in people in the weak immune system groups are due to a combination of IgM antibodies, and the absence of IgE antibodies, the researchers said.
“While these findings suggest that oral polio vaccination may protect against EVD, it remains unclear how the protective response is activated in healthy immune systems,” they wrote.
“In healthy people, IgG responses are activated by an immune system’s own defenses against a particular antigen and they do not depend on the presence of a protective antibody.
In people with impaired immunity, IgE is suppressed and this suppression is likely to contribute to reduced antibody responses.”
The findings also point to possible roles for the antiviral medication ampicillin in preventing EVD transmission, the investigators said.
The researchers found that, for the most part, people in weakened immune system populations had lower antibody levels to a common type of IgA, called IgG4.
However, there were differences between the groups in IgE levels.
IgE4 levels were higher in people receiving oral polio and in those who had never received the vaccine and in people without asthma, who were also at higher risk of developing the disease, the team wrote.
The findings suggest, however, that the overall protective antibody response is not fully mediated by the presence or absence of a specific antibody.
The protective antibody levels observed in healthy people may reflect the effectiveness of different mechanisms for activating the immune system against different types of antigen, the scientists said.