ASPR’s BARDA Support of the global response to the Sudan ebolavirus outbreak in Uganda strengthened U.S. preparedness against biothreats



When it comes to infectious disease outbreaks, a threat to health anywhere is a threat to health everywhere. Filoviruses are high consequence pathogens that cause significant mortality. Always working to prepare for the next threat, ASPR's BARDA has been supporting product development for ebolaviruses since 2014, leading to the first therapeutics and vaccines approved to combat the Zaire strain of the ebolavirus. Although our efforts began in 2014 with the intention of ending one of the largest outbreaks of Ebola, this family of viruses presents an ongoing threat to national security.

When Ebola Sudan was identified in Uganda this fall, ASPR went to work immediately leveraging BARDA's long-term work in this space. Throughout this outbreak, BARDA has worked across the federal government, with industry, and with international partners - including the Ministry of Health in Uganda and the World Health Organization – to support the global response to the Sudan ebolavirus outbreak in Uganda.

BARDA leveraged existing contracts to develop, evaluate and provide vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostic tests, strengthening U.S. preparedness for ebolaviruses while simultaneously supporting the response in Uganda. Even as the world waits to see whether the outbreak in Uganda can be declared over, our efforts continue so that the U.S. and the world become better prepared.

For example, we have been collaborating with the Sabin Vaccine Institute to expedite manufacturing of an investigational vaccine. These efforts are expected to result in up to 36,000 doses that were available for clinical trials in Uganda and for ongoing U.S. preparedness efforts. In addition, we are working with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) to develop another vaccine based on the technology used for a licensed Ebola Zaire vaccine, ERVEBO.

Since 2017, we have partnered with Mapp Biopharmaceutical to develop a therapeutic medicine to treat Sudan ebolavirus infections. This partnership enabled us to provide a limited number of treatment courses to Uganda for treatment of Ebola Sudan-infected individuals early during the outbreak.

We also supported OraSure Technologies in making the OraQuick Ebola diagnostic test available to Uganda. This test can be used to determine if recently deceased people died from Ebola infections. With results in approximately 30 minutes, the tests enable safe, dignified burials that follow local customs and minimize disease spread. Some of the tests were deployed to Uganda; others will be available if ever needed in the U.S.

BARDA experts will continue to work with product developers and international partners to evaluate other potential vaccines, therapeutics and, diagnostics that may be of value in future outbreaks wherever they occur. U.S. preparedness and global health demand no less.​


Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness; Response and Recovery




Gary Disbrow, Ph.D., BARDA Director

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Ebola virus
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Created at 12/12/2022 12:20 PM by KIMBERLY BUCKMON
Last modified at 12/12/2022 12:21 PM by KIMBERLY BUCKMON