New preclinical study indicates vaccine to prevent Zika infection in humans is feasible

In the preclinical study, WRAIR and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center tested two Zika virus vaccine candidates: a DNA vaccine developed at Harvard based on a Zika virus strain isolated in Brazil, and a purified inactivated virus vaccine developed at WRAIR based on a Zika virus strain isolated in Puerto Rico.

The study showed that single shots of either vaccine candidate protected mice against subsequent Zika challenge. Both candidates were found to be safe and elicited an antibody response to Zika virus that correlated with protection. Further work with the DNA vaccine demonstrated that protection was solely due to antibodies raised by vaccination.

WRAIR is moving forward with the purified inactivated virus (PIV) vaccine, called ZPIV, because it builds on “a type of vaccine that has been licensed before,” said Col. Stephen Thomas, an infectious disease Army physician and a vaccinologist specializing in flaviviruses, and the WRAIR Zika program lead. “It’s

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