Zika Vaccine proving to be 100% effective in primates
Researchers from the Duke Human Vaccine Institute have helped develop a vaccine for the Zika virus using modified genetic material.
The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites and most commonly occurs in Africa and Asia. Previously, there were no treatments for the infection except for painkillers to alleviate symptoms. The new vaccine, which is currently undergoing clinical trials with human subjects, has already proven to be very effective in primates and monkeys.
The project was a collaboration with researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“The vaccine works because it targets the molecule in the Zika virus to which antibodies that can neutralize the virus bind,” said Barton Haynes, Frederic M. Hanes professor of medicine and director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.
After hearing about a new immunization platform developed by Drew Weissman, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Haynes approached Weissman to try it on primates. Haynes intended to use the genetic immunization method to develop an HIV vaccine, and inadvertently discovered its effectiveness on Zika.....