- Synthetic DNA vaccine developed for protection against
Zika was tested on susceptible animal models and was found to offer
- The vaccine prevented the entry of the virus into regions of the brain, leading to
protection against brain damage and death.
- The vaccine raises hope of controlling the spread of
is a dreaded disease that has raised International concern and gathered support
for continued research into possible solutions. This disease, transmitted by
mosquitoes, leads to microcephaly in infants.
is plenty of research that is being undertaken to identify a possible vaccine
that will aid in preventing further spread of the disease. A
new study has found that the use of
synthetic DNA affords protection against Zika
infection, brain damage and death.
‘DNA vaccine against Zika offers hope of protection.’
Hundred animal models were injected with this synthetic DNA Zika vaccine and
were tested for the protection they offered by infecting the animals with Zika.
All the animals were protected from the infection while the animals that were
not vaccinated developed the disease condition.
Protection of the Brain
Animals that were vaccinated with the DNA
vaccine for Zika were protected from damage to the cerebral cortex and the
hippocampus region of the brain. The animals which did not receive the vaccine
showed signs of degeneration in the same regions of the brain.
researcher Dr David Weibner who is The E.V.P and Director of the The Wistar
Institute's Vaccine Center, said, "Our results support the critical importance of immune responses
for both preventing infection as well as ameliorating disease caused by the
As the threat of Zika continues, these results provide insight into a new
aspect of the possibly protective ability of such a vaccine as a preventative
approach for Zika infection."
Landmark Study- Significance of the study
DNA vaccine that had been developed for Zika virus is a landmark study as it
raises hopes about possible means of protection against this widespread
disease. Another interesting factors associated with this study is that this is
the first time that a vaccine is used on animal models that are susceptible to
Zika. Previous studies have always used animal models that were resistant to
the virus for their studies.
ability of the newly developed DNA vaccine to protect animal models that were
susceptible to disease is a concrete step towards better protection against
Antibody Generation-In Vivo Studies
Vivo studies showed that the synthetic DNA vaccine expressed specific antigens
- This generated specific antibodies as
well as T cells, which were identified in preclinical animal models.
- Protection against the disease in animals
- Death was thereby avoided
- The disease was unable to develop in the
brain, vaccine was therefore neuroprotective
significance of this disease is of specific importance among newborns where
microcephaly, a form of brain disorder in infants, may be avoided.
is a disease caused by the Zika virus
which is transmitted by
mosquito vector Aedes Sp. This
disease is characterized by fever, rash, joint pain
and conjunctivitis. In infants, it is
known to cause microcephaly.
was first identified in Uganda in 1947 but is of Global significance now. Recently, it
has been found that women are affected in large numbers in Puerto Rico,
pointing towards a sexual transmission of this disease condition. More than
300,000 people are affected with Zika in this region.
is no known vaccine that is prescribed for Zika and preventing mosquito bites
have been the most practiced method of protection. Mosquito sprays, repellents and the use of nets are encouraged to keep mosquitoes away. People
have been advised against traveling to Zika-prone areas,
especially when pregnant.
development of a good DNA vaccine that will offer the required amount of
protection against the virus is paramount to preventing further spread of the
disease and aid in curbing the health effects caused due to the disease.
- DNA-Based Zika Vaccine Showed Protection From Infection, Brain Damage And Death - (http://newswise.com/articles/dna-based-zika-vaccine-showed-protection-from-infection-brain-damage-and-death)
- Zika & Pregnancy Virus - (https://www.cdc.gov/zika/)
- Zika virus - (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/)