A vaccinia-based single vector construct multi-pathogen vaccine protects against both Zika and chikungunya viruses
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One vaccine could be used to protect against two leading mosquito-borne viruses — chikungunya and Zika — according to a study in mice.
Chikungunya infection causes joint pain and swelling, while Zika virus infection in pregnant women has been linked to severe birth defects in newborns. A team that included scientists from the University of South Australia modified vaccine technology based on the vaccine used to eradicate smallpox by incorporating structural proteins from both the chikungunya and Zika viruses.
The researchers tested the vaccine in mice genetically engineered to be more susceptible to viral infection and in unmodified mice. They found that a single shot of the vaccine was able to protect against infection by both viruses and also prevented the Zika virus from being transmitted from mother to fetus through the placenta.
- Nature Communications 9, 1230 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03662-6