Thursday, December 1, 2022
News

Researchers develop new Zika vaccine that shows promise in animal models

   SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend    Print this Page   COMMENT

Washington | September 29, 2022 7:28:39 PM IST
Researchers have developed a Zika vaccine technology that is highly effective and safe in preclinical mouse models.

"Engineering the vaccine involved deleting the part of the Zika genome that codes for the viral shell," said Vaithilingaraja Arumugaswami, D.V.M., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA. "This modification both stimulates an immunogenic reaction and prevents the virus from replicating and spreading from cell to cell."

Vaccinated mice showed elevated levels of cell-mediated immune response, in the form of increased effector T cell populations, as compared to mice that had not been vaccinated. The researchers also tested the vaccine in a variety of other mouse models, in which it proved safe and protective.

The impetus for the work was the 2016 outbreak of Zika virus, which spread rapidly in the Americas and affected millions of people, leading to severe socioeconomic hardships. Zika was the first mosquito-borne virus that showed the ability to affect human reproduction.

To date, no vaccines or other treatments have been approved for Zika virus. Nor have investigations into other ways of fighting the virus led to clearly effective countermeasures. "But given that RNA viruses -- the category to which both Zika and the SARS family of viruses belong -- are highly prone to evolving and mutating rapidly, there will likely be more outbreaks in the near future," said Arumugaswami.

The average length of time between periods of extensive Zika viral spread is approximately 7 years. "It is only a matter of time before we start seeing the virus spread again," said Kouki Morizono, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA and co-senior author of this study.

To make matters worse, climate change is expanding the permissible habitats of mosquitoes like Aedes aegypti, which transmits Zika virus to humans, increasing the at-risk population.

"The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the power of a strong pandemic preparedness plan and clear communication about prevention methods -- all culminating in the rapid rollout of safe and reliable vaccines," said Arumugaswami. As such, it is essential to develop a strong pandemic preparedness plan. "Our research is a crucial first step in developing an effective vaccination program that could curb the spread of Zika virus and prevent large-scale spread from occurring," said Arumugaswami. (ANI)

 
  LATEST COMMENTS ()
POST YOUR COMMENT
Comments Not Available
 
POST YOUR COMMENT
 
 
TRENDING TOPICS
 
 
CITY NEWS
MORE CITIES
 
 
 
MORE SCIENCE NEWS
How voice technology affects what we dis...
Study finds how wasteosomes indicate dys...
Govt tells telcos not to install 5G base...
Microfibers in Mediterranean Sea floatin...
Study reveals what ancient underwater fo...
Samsung sees a significant uptake of fol...
More...
 
INDIA WORLD ASIA
Senior journalist Ravish Kumar resigns f...
No one knows about the effect of GM must...
TN to constitute elite ATS on lines of M...
'Entities registered as companies to be ...
Special emphasis on infrastructure in ed...
Bihar BJP lashes out at Congress for Kha...
More...    
 
 Top Stories
UN launches record USD 51.5 billion... 
China intimidates big businesses th... 
Makers of Vicky Kaushal's 'Sam Baha... 
India's star driver Jehan Daruvala ... 
Shah Rukh Khan announces Saudi Arab... 
Odisha W and CD Dept inks MoU with ... 
Excellon Software's DMS implementat... 
UFC GYM India opens newest club in ...