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DNA-Based Vaccine Protects Against Zika in Animal Study
Results are encouraging and human trials are underway, researchers say

By Robert Preidt

THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental Zika vaccine shows promise, researchers report.

In animals infected with Zika virus, the synthetic DNA-based vaccine was 100 percent effective in protecting against infection, brain damage and death, the study found.

"Our results support the critical importance of immune responses for both preventing infection as well as ameliorating disease caused by the Zika virus," said lead researcher David Weiner. He is executive vice president and director of the Vaccine Center at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia.

"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," Weiner added in an institute news release.

Therapies that look promising in animals often don't work in humans. However, the vaccine is being tested in two human clinical trials, with results from one study expected to be reported by year's end, the study authors noted.

Zika virus produces a relatively mild infection in adults, with only one in every five people showing any symptoms at all, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Instead, Zika poses the biggest health threat to the fetus. That's because the virus causes severe birth defects including microcephaly, where babies are born with too-small skulls and underdeveloped brains.

More than 2,000 children have been born with microcephaly or birth defects of the central nervous system in Brazil, the nexus of the Zika outbreak in South America, according to the World Health Organization.

More than 60 countries have reported mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus.

And nearly 4,000 cases of Zika infection have been reported in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most are travel-associated, but more than 100 cases originated within the United States.

So far, there are no licensed vaccines or treatments for Zika, according to the researchers.

The study was published Nov. 10 in the journal npj Vaccines.

More information

The World Health Organization has more on Zika.

This Q & A will tell you what you need to know about Zika.

To see the CDC list of sites where Zika virus is active and may pose a threat to pregnant women, click here.

SOURCE: The Wistar Institute, news release, Nov. 10, 2016

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=716664

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Infection
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Microcephaly
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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