Scientists looking for an Ebola vaccine may have found one for herpes, too.

While developing a way to prevent the transmission of the deadly Ebola virus, researchers at Plymouth University, the National Institutes of Health and the University of California, Riverside, found a strand that could potentially protect people from not only Ebola, but also the common herpes strand cytomegalovirus, according to a new study published today in Scientific Reports.

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"This finding was complete serendipity," says Dr. Michael Jarvis, who is leading the research. "This is exciting not just for Ebola, but for vaccination against other infectious as well as non-infectious diseases."

Getting the body to produce antibodies rather than just amp up T cell production is a revolutionary advance in the search for a vaccine to these diseases, reports Infection Control Today

Of course, further testing still needs to be done, but Javis says it is a huge step forward in looking for a life-saving vaccine against Ebola. "Although we will definitely need to explore this finding further, it suggests that we may be able to bias immunity towards either antibodies or T cells based on the time of target antigen production," he says.