Health Care

Trials Show Inactivated Zika Virus Vaccine is Safe and Immunogenic

Trials Show Inactivated Zika Virus Vaccine is Safe and Immunogenic”

"In addition, NIAID is helping to develop an investigational mRNA Zika vaccine and a live-attenuated vaccine candidate created to protect against Zika and all 4 strains of dengue virus".

Three Phase 1 human clinical trials evaluating an Army-developed Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine have shown it was safe and well-tolerated in healthy adults and induced a robust immune response.

The second study tested two forms of a DNA-based vaccine created by NIAID scientists soon after reports surfaced linking Zika infection during pregnancy to birth defects. Of these 67 participants, a total of 55 received 2 intramuscular injections of the investigational vaccine at the same dosage each time, 4 weeks apart, while the remaining 12 participants received a placebo, at the same dosing parameters, according to a press release on the study. After the initial injection, the adults were given another dose four weeks and then eight weeks later.

"Zika remains a threat to USA military personnel and families of service members".

The ZPIV vaccine, made from inactivated Zika virus particles, was developed by US Army researchers, who in July previous year had agreed to give Sanofi an exclusive licence to complete testing and bring the product to market. They found this vaccine also produced an immune response, but it was not as strong. Each received either two or three 4-mg doses at various time intervals.

They found that 60 to 89 per cent of participants generated a neutralising antibody response to VRC5288, whereas 77 to 100 per cent of participants generated a neutralising antibody response to VRC5283.

To measure the effectiveness of the immune response, researchers extracted antibodies from the participants and injected them into mice.

Investigators announced that VRC5283 was advanced to a phase II trial in March 2017 that aims to enroll around 2,500 healthy participants ages 15 to 35 from the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Central and South America.

They wrote said the results from both trials are promising, but more research is needed to address key questions. The mice were purposefully infected with Zika virus.

Also, they raised concerns about the possibility of whether immunity to Zika from vaccination may alter the behavior of other flaviviruses, such as dengue viruses or dengue vaccination, which could have a clinical impact.

While Zika experts have not precisely determined the concentration of antibodies needed to protect against congenital infection, animal model studies are helping to provide useful insights. They noted that it took almost 30 years for a rubella vaccine to become available, and though Zika incidence has dropped in most countries, its spread has been wide and unpredictable.

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