Saturday February 16, 2019

Novel Vaccine Approach Proves Powerful Against Zika Virus

However, the next big question is "will this be protective in humans?", the researchers said

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Experimental vaccine shows potential against Zika virus
Experimental vaccine shows potential against Zika virus. (IANS)

An experimental single dose vaccine against the Zika virus has proven to be powerful in mice, new research has found.

The vaccine employs an uncommon two-pronged approach to fighting the virus, which is spread by mosquitoes and is most serious for pregnant women and their foetuses.

The vaccine, carrying genes for two or three Zika proteins, proved effective in triggering an immune response that prevented later infection by the virus.

“The vaccine was potent, safe and highly effective, at least in the short term. There’s a long way to go, but we think this is a promising candidate for a human vaccine,” said lead author Jianrong Li, professor at The Ohio State University in the US.

The experimental vaccine holds particular promise because it appears to afford an adequate immune response with one dose. In hard-to-reach and resource-poor areas, that becomes especially valuable, added Shan-Lu Liu, co-author at the varsity.

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Representational image. (IANS)

In the study, appearing in the journal Nature Communications, the team targeted a protective immune response by expressing two or three Zika proteins and looked to vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV — a foot-and-mouth disease in cattle.

In the experimental vaccine, VSV acts as a vehicle to deliver the genes for two or three key proteins from the Zika virus, carrying them into the mouse and expressing them inside some of the cells in the mouse so that the immune system could respond and build up a defence against Zika.

In addition, experiments in mice with severely compromised immune systems showed that vaccination helped their weak immune systems to fight off the virus swiftly and efficiently.

Also Read: Zika Virus May Cause Miscarriages, Stillbirths Without Any Symptoms

The early success with this vaccine has encouraged this team to use the same approach to fight other related viruses, including Dengue fever, the researchers said.

However, the next big question is “will this be protective in humans?”, the researchers said. (IANS)

Next Story

The United States Of America Updates Research On Universal Flu Vaccine

The senators say the institute should describe for them how it has used funding provided by Congress to develop a universal vaccine.

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Vaccine
Influenza leads to serious and potentially life-threatening complications such as pneumonia, sepsis and heart disease, the study noted. VOA

Maine’s independent U.S. senator says he’s joining a group of Senate colleagues to call on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to provide an update on research into a universal flu vaccine.

Sen. Angus King says the initiative is about reducing “the relentless burden the flu places on American families each year.” The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease released a strategic plan for a universal flu vaccine last year.

America,flu
Emergency room nurse Christine Bauer treats Joshua Lagade of Vista, California, for the flu in the emergency room at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California, U.S., Jan.18, 2018. (VOA)

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website says formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed annually and updated to keep up with changing viruses. As a result, effectiveness can vary year to year.

Also Read: CDC Says Flu Makes Up To 84000 Americans Hospitalized in Three Months

The senators say the institute should describe for them how it has used funding provided by Congress to develop a universal vaccine. (VOA)