Thursday, November 10, 2016

New Zika Virus Vaccine Testing Begins

New Testing for a Zika Virus Vaccines Has Begun

Scientists are working hard to develop a new zika virus vaccine. This is incredibly important, as the zika virus has shown to lead to birth defects amongst babies - therefore, a vaccine would help to prevent such defects and lower the risk for developing embryos.

Scientists are attempting to use a similar method to develop the zika virus vaccine as they used for the Japanese encephalitis vaccine. This method consists of inactivating a strain of the zika virus vaccine, but leaving the protein shell of the inactivated virus intact so that the cell can recognize and develop an immune response to the virus

This study will consists of 75 participants who have never before had a flavivirus infection (as zika virus is a type of flavivirus). There will be three groups of participants who will receive different amounts / frequencies of the experimental Zika Purified Inactivated Virus (ZPIV) vaccine. The research is being run by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) based in Silver Spring, Maryland. This is a department of the US Department of Defense. It is also being cofunded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is interesting to think about how such vaccine development funding / policies will be influenced under a trump administration.

--- Ashley Jowell

"Testing Begins on an Experimental Zika Vaccine with Inactivated Virus", NPR -
"Testing of investigational inactivated Zika vaccine in humans begins", NIH -

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