Nav: Home

Development of a novel vaccine for Zika

June 04, 2017

New Orleans, LA - June 4, 2017 - Research presented by Farshad Guirakhoo, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, GeoVax, Inc., at the ASM Microbe 2017 meeting showed a new Zika virus vaccine that gives 100% protection in mice. The vaccine is the first to be based on the Zika virus NS1 protein, and the first to show single-dose protection against Zika in an immunocompetent lethal mouse challenge model. Results of the study were presented on June 4 at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe conference in New Orleans.

The rapid spread of Zika virus worldwide and its association with abnormal fetal brain development has made the need for an effective vaccine clear. Controlling the mosquito vector and protecting people against mosquito bites have been the main means of defending against Zika virus infections.

The viral vector vaccine technology developed by GeoVax uses a highly potent, safe, and replication-deficient viral vector (Modified Vaccinia Ankara, MVA) to express vaccine antigens in the recipient's cells. It has previously been used to develop vaccine candidates for HIV and Ebola virus. The vaccine, from GeoVax Labs, Inc. in Atlanta, Ga., was tested at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Ft. Collins, Colo., with funding by a grant from the CDC.

In the presented study, outbred immunocompetent mice were exposed to a lethal challenge dose of Zika virus delivered directly into the brain. "A single dose of GeoVax's NS1 vaccine candidate protected 100% of vaccinated animals," said Guirakhoo. In contrast, 80-90% of sham-immunized control animals died within 7-10 days.

Because the NS1 antigen is not presented on the surface of the virus, it was chosen as the target immunogen for the vaccine to avoid a potential risk of disease enhancement when vaccines are developed based on Zika virus envelope proteins. This "Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) of infection" phenomena has been shown between Zika virus and a related flavivirus, Dengue, in both in vitro and in vivo studies.

An NS1-based vaccine could also limit or block transmission of Zika virus in its mosquito vector. The NS1 protein is abundantly produced by flaviviruses in infected hosts and is picked up together with the virus after the mosquito takes a blood meal from humans. The NS1 proteins interfere with the innate immune system of the mosquito, evolved to fight foreign pathogens, allowing the flavivirus to replicate and disseminate in mosquitoes. Therefore, said Guirakhoo, "a vaccine that can induce effective antibodies to NS1 and disable its function has the potential to reduce growth and transmission of Zika virus in its mosquito vector. This could enhance vaccine effectiveness in endemic areas by blocking the virus transmission from infected individuals to other members of the community."
-end-
The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 50,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.

American Society for Microbiology

Related Brain Articles:

Unique insight into development of the human brain: Model of the early embryonic brain
Stem cell researchers from the University of Copenhagen have designed a model of an early embryonic brain.
An optical brain-to-brain interface supports information exchange for locomotion control
Chinese researchers established an optical BtBI that supports rapid information transmission for precise locomotion control, thus providing a proof-of-principle demonstration of fast BtBI for real-time behavioral control.
Transplanting human nerve cells into a mouse brain reveals how they wire into brain circuits
A team of researchers led by Pierre Vanderhaeghen and Vincent Bonin (VIB-KU Leuven, Université libre de Bruxelles and NERF) showed how human nerve cells can develop at their own pace, and form highly precise connections with the surrounding mouse brain cells.
Brain scans reveal how the human brain compensates when one hemisphere is removed
Researchers studying six adults who had one of their brain hemispheres removed during childhood to reduce epileptic seizures found that the remaining half of the brain formed unusually strong connections between different functional brain networks, which potentially help the body to function as if the brain were intact.
Alcohol byproduct contributes to brain chemistry changes in specific brain regions
Study of mouse models provides clear implications for new targets to treat alcohol use disorder and fetal alcohol syndrome.
Scientists predict the areas of the brain to stimulate transitions between different brain states
Using a computer model of the brain, Gustavo Deco, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, and Josephine Cruzat, a member of his team, together with a group of international collaborators, have developed an innovative method published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Sept.
BRAIN Initiative tool may transform how scientists study brain structure and function
Researchers have developed a high-tech support system that can keep a large mammalian brain from rapidly decomposing in the hours after death, enabling study of certain molecular and cellular functions.
Wiring diagram of the brain provides a clearer picture of brain scan data
In a study published today in the journal BRAIN, neuroscientists led by Michael D.
Blue Brain Project releases first-ever digital 3D brain cell atlas
The Blue Brain Cell Atlas is like ''going from hand-drawn maps to Google Earth'' -- providing previously unavailable information on major cell types, numbers and positions in all 737 brain regions.
Landmark study reveals no benefit to costly and risky brain cooling after brain injury
A landmark study, led by Monash University researchers, has definitively found that the practice of cooling the body and brain in patients who have recently received a severe traumatic brain injury, has no impact on the patient's long-term outcome.
More Brain News and Brain Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Processing The Pandemic
Between the pandemic and America's reckoning with racism and police brutality, many of us are anxious, angry, and depressed. This hour, TED Fellow and writer Laurel Braitman helps us process it all.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#568 Poker Face Psychology
Anyone who's seen pop culture depictions of poker might think statistics and math is the only way to get ahead. But no, there's psychology too. Author Maria Konnikova took her Ph.D. in psychology to the poker table, and turned out to be good. So good, she went pro in poker, and learned all about her own biases on the way. We're talking about her new book "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Invisible Allies
As scientists have been scrambling to find new and better ways to treat covid-19, they've come across some unexpected allies. Invisible and primordial, these protectors have been with us all along. And they just might help us to better weather this viral storm. To kick things off, we travel through time from a homeless shelter to a military hospital, pondering the pandemic-fighting power of the sun. And then, we dive deep into the periodic table to look at how a simple element might actually be a microbe's biggest foe. This episode was reported by Simon Adler and Molly Webster, and produced by Annie McEwen and Pat Walters. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.