Researchers Have Made Significant Advances in Developing a Vaccine Against the Zika Virus, Which Might Lead to Global Elimination of the Disease
The University of Adelaide, researchers, have made vital advances in developing a novel vaccine in opposition to the Zika virus, which might probably result in the global elimination of the disease.
The virology group, led by Professor Eric Gowans and Dr. Branka Grubor-Bauk—based on the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research and is supported by The Hospital Research Foundation—has developed a vaccine that stops Zika infection in preclinical models of the disease.
Their findings have been revealed today within the leading international journal Science Advances. Zika is a mosquito-transmitted ‘flavivirus,’ which may trigger microcephaly and severe birth defects in infants born to infected mothers. The introduction of an efficient vaccine for Zika will stop an infection of pregnant women and the resultant congenital results within the unborn child.
Dr. Grubor-Bauk, senior analysis officer with the Adelaide Medical School, stated the group had developed a novel vaccine against Zika that proved efficient in mouse models.
This research, which has been years within the making, has progressed to this vital stage because of funding from the National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation and ongoing funding from The Hospital Research Foundation.
The next step is to advance the vaccine to be ready for Phase I human medical trials. This includes further pre-medical research that are vitally necessary to determine the most effective dosing and demonstrate protection against Zika infection in numerous preclinical models of the disease
The findings of this research may also significantly inform other research within the development of flavivirus vaccines by shifting the main focus of vaccine development from the viral envelope and antibody-based vaccines to T-cell based vaccines.