Vaccine zaps Zika in mice
Two new Zika vaccines appear to work in mice.
Single shots of either one of two types of vaccine protected mice against the Brazilian Zika virus, reports a paper published online this week.
The findings bring the prospect of a human Zika vaccine one step closer.
Zika virus infection has been strongly linked with neurological problems, including microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
The development of a safe and effective Zika virus vaccine is a big priority, but little is known about the immunology of the virus.
In the new report, researchers show that single immunisations with one of two types of vaccine — one made from DNA, the other a purified inactivated form of the virus — gave the mice complete protection against an isolate of the Zika virus from northeast Brazil.
Inoculated animals produced antibodies that recognised specific viral proteins, and the amount of protection correlated with the level of these antibodies.
While it does not directly reflect human efficacy, the research raises hopes that a safe, effective human vaccine will become feasible.
Ongoing reports are available at Springer Nature’s dedicated Zika site.