In a paper published today in the journal Nature, a research team led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), in collaboration with scientists at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and the University of Sao Paulo, demonstrates that two different ZIKV vaccine candidates provided complete protection in mice against a ZIKV strain from Brazil and suggest that a ZIKV vaccine for humans will likely be feasible.
ZIKV is a member of the flavivirus family of viruses. Transmitted by mosquitoes, ZIKV is responsible for an unprecedented epidemic in the Americas. This family of viruses also includes West Nile virus, yellow fever virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, and dengue viruses, for which successful vaccines have been developed.
"Our data demonstrate that a single dose of a DNA vaccine or a purified inactivated virus vaccine provides complete protection against the ZIKV challenge in mice," said senior author Dan H. Barouch, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at BIDMC, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Steering Committee member at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard. "Importantly, we showed that vaccine-induced antibodies provided protection, similar to existing vaccines for other flaviviruses."