Zika Vaccine Development: Early Results Are Promising
The first live-attenuated Zika vaccine—which is currently still in development—provided complete protection from the virus in animal studies, according to researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Instituto Evandro Chagas at the Ministry of Health in Brazil. One single dose of the vaccine triggered a full immune system response, protecting animal subjects from infection with the Zika virus.
Other Zika vaccines are also in development and have shown promising results, but they have been developed from inactive versions or subunits of the virus. This is the first vaccine candidate made from live virus that has been weakened—or attenuated. Live-attenuated vaccines trigger a stronger immune response and may offer other advantages, including single-dose immunization and longer protection. However, they generally are considered less safe than inactivated and subunit vaccines.
Researchers are developing this new Zika vaccine using a method similar to one used in the development of a dengue virus vaccine that is currently in phase three clinical trials. Zika virus is a worldwide health threat and vaccine develop is crucial.
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