#Conceptions within #misconceptions: #Pluralisms in an #Ebola #vaccine #trial in West Africa (Glob Public Health., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Glob Public Health. 2019 Jun 25:1-9. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1632368. [Epub ahead of print]

Conceptions within misconceptions: Pluralisms in an Ebola vaccine trial in West Africa.

Alenichev A1,2, Peeters Grietens K3, Gerrets R1.

Author information: 1a Department of Anthropology , University of Amsterdam , Amsterdam , Netherlands. 2b The Barcelona Institute for Global Health , Barcelona , Spain. 3c Department of Public Health , Institute of Tropical Medicine , Antwerp , Belgium.



Ensuring that biomedical information about research procedures is adequately understood by participants and their communities is key for conducting ethical research. This article explores participants’ understanding of trial procedures for an experimental vaccine against Ebola virus disease (EVD) in a West African context. We found that some trial participants believed there was a chance of contracting Ebola and other sicknesses from the vaccine, and others believed both the vaccine and the placebo control would be able to prevent other illnesses than EVD. While these beliefs might be understood as misconceptions about the vaccine trial, this paper shows that such a conclusion is problematic because it excludes local explanatory health models and logics of causality. The paper invites bioethicists to work with anthropologists to take seriously different models of health knowledge in global health research. Investigating and addressing such differences could be the key to understanding human subjects’ motives for participation, and to creating space for studies of empirical ethics.

KEYWORDS: Ebola; clinical trial; misconceptions; pluralism

PMID: 31237180 DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1632368

Keywords: Ebola; Vaccines; Society; Africa region; Bioethics.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.