The staff of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium have developed a new vaccine against zika virus, which is designed to prevent the occurrence of microcephaly and other serious diseases in unborn children. On it informs edition of Naked Science, citing the journal Nature.
It is noted that the zika virus is transmitted from the tiger mosquito, and in most cases the patient has not shown almost any symptoms. However, when a pregnant woman is infected with a virus, it can affect the brain development of the embryo and result in microcephaly, when the size of baby’s head smaller than normal, writes UNIAN.
In 2015 and 2016 in Latin America was a mass outbreak of zika virus. And though at the moment the situation is under control, the virus is still present in Latin America.Professor Johan Neyts and his colleagues claim to have achieved success in this question using a cure for yellow fever. According to him, the yellow fever virus is closely associated with the zika virus and is transmitted through the same carrier. The vaccine has passed safety tests and provides life-long protection.
Scientists have replaced part of the genetic information of the drug of yellow fever the corresponding code in the virus zika. For the cure, the researchers used a special technology which allows to make it in the fermenters. Another important advantage lies in the fact that the vaccine remains stable even at high temperatures which allows its use even in the most remote corners of the tropical and subtropical areas.
“Together with our colleagues at the University of liège we have tested the vaccine on pregnant mice. First, females were administered the drug, and after these mice became pregnant, their placenta was infected by the virus, Zeke. During observations we found that vaccinated mothers developed normally, and the virus is not passed on their brain or in other organs,” says the scientist.
Experts called these results remarkable and have already announced their intention to continue the development of the drug, which can be used for fast and effective vaccination of the population in the case of a new outbreak of the virus, Zeke.