U.S. Army to Begin Human Zika Vaccine Trials Later This Year

A military medical research institute has announced that it plans to move ahead with human testing for a potential Zika vaccine by the end of this year after getting two positive results with laboratory mice. Results from the preclinical study, led by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, were published this week in Nature.

The study tested two types of vaccines, one built from Zika DNA, and the other from purified inactivated virus (PIV). In both cases, mice showed the appropriate antibody response to a single dose of the vaccine, indicating that humans were likely to respond favorably. The planned Phase I clinical trial will focus on the purified inactivated virus vaccine called ZPIV because similar vaccines have been approved for use in humans, and, therefore, regulatory hurdles may be easier to overcome.

The army is not the only organization working at breakneck speed towards a

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