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New Zika vaccine effective in animal trials

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Scientists have developed a vaccine candidate for the which they say successfully protected both mice and monkeys from the that causes brain deformations in human babies.

Demonstrating the effectiveness of the vaccine candidate in monkeys (non-human primates) is an important milestone because it typically predicts the vaccine will work in humans, enabling further clinical development, researchers at the University of in the US said.

A strong global initiative to battle Zika has produced more than 30 vaccine candidates since outbreaks in 2015-2016 in linked the in some pregnant women to such as in their newborns.

Zika is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes and through sex.

There is no treatment or cure for nor is any vaccine currently approved for public use.

The proposed vaccine, reported in the journals Frontiers in Immunology and mSphere, uses a protein of the Zika virus, produced in insect cells.

"We believe our vaccine candidate shows much promise particularly as it showed to require only two immunisations given three weeks apart and is a potentially safer alternative to other candidates already in clinical trials," said Axel Lehrer, at University of

The vaccine may be safer that other candidate vaccines, especially keeping in mind that pregnant women constitute a significant part of the target population for a Zika vaccine.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 13:05 IST