The vaccine successfully stimulated the animals' natural immune defence systems and protected them against the virus, scientists have reported in Nature.
Although not the most common viral infection in Africa, the virus has caused terror because of the speed with which it strikes - killing its victims through extensive internal bleeding before they can develop an immune response.
The speed of the virus makes the development of the vaccine a double breakthrough - because for the first time scientists can study how an animal's immune system could respond to it.
Since records began, 149 people in Uganda have died from Ebola, including 10 nurses treating victims of the disease.
In the research, 4 macaque monkeys were successfully protected against a lethal dose of the virus. The monkeys had been treated with a DNA vaccine developed by the US National Institutes of Health.
Researcher Dr Gary Nabel, director of the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, said, "Doctors have essentially been helpless against Ebola virus.
"We have not known if immunity to the virus exists or what parts of the immune response are important.
"Our studies show that animals can launch an effective immune response against Ebola virus, and we can use knowledge of this response to design a vaccine that protects non-human primates from infection.
"Although much more work needs to be done, we hope this moves us closer to new vaccines and treatments for Ebola and other viruses."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com