The successful results of the first tests of the vaccine can be tested this year in humans. A zika vaccine developed by researchers in Brazil and the United States was effective in tests with laboratory mice and could be tested this year in humans, Brazilian authorities said. The successful results of the first tests of the vaccine developed jointly by researchers from the University of Texas, the National Institute of Health of the United States and the Brazilian state center for health studies Institute Evandro Chagas, were highlighted Monday in a published article In the journal Nature Medicine.
The specialist added that the vaccine is currently tested in monkeys, in tests that will be extended to May, and that in December of this same year, experiments in developing humans may begin, with a schedule that foresees the launch of the product in late 2019. The vaccine, made with an attenuated zika virus, is the first to show such promising results so far among those being investigated in different countries against a disease that generated an international health emergency last year due to its Relationship with the birth of infants with microcephaly.
According to Vasconcelos, the researchers removed some of the genetic material from zika to reduce their lethal power and ability to transmit the disease, but without changing the characteristics that lead the human immune system to react against the virus and produce defenses. The researcher added that the mice used in the experiment were also removed from their genetic material a protein that acts to protect the body against viral infections, so they were completely unprotected in case of contracting the zika.
The animals given the vaccine and thirty days later were injected with the virus, did not contract the disease or carried it in the blood. In addition to immunizing the mice, the vaccine also prevented the virus from being transmitted to mosquitoes that were fed with the blood of the animals used in the experiment. According to Vasconcelos, the main advantage of this vaccine compared to others who are in more advanced stages of development is that it is effective with just one dose.
Brazil, one of the countries most affected by zika last year and declared a health emergency before the WHO itself warned about the severity of the disease, recorded at least 165 cases of babies with microcephaly possibly related to zika between January and March Of this year, according to the Ministry of Health. Since 2015, when Brazil declared the sanitary emergency due to cases of microcephaly caused by zika, 2,2020 cases have been confirmed from about 10,000 suspects and the zika has been linked to the death of 259 babies.