Weekly Current Affairs

Zika vaccine trial on monkeys shows promise [Health]

  • Tests involving three different kinds of Zika vaccines on rhesus monkeys have produced good immune responses and caused no adverse effects, raising hopes for the development of an effective vaccine for use in humans.
  • None of the vaccinated monkeys developed infection when later challenged with Zika virus. Also, the transfer of antibodies at higher doses from vaccinated monkeys to Zika-naïve mice and monkeys was found to offer “complete protection” when the animals were exposed to Zika virus.
  • The study used three vaccine approaches — a purifi ed killed Zika virus, DNA from the Zika virus woven into a plasmid, and inserting Zika genes into adenoviruses which infect cells and trigger immune responses.
  • In addition, passive protection was also tested by using antibodies from vaccinated monkeys to protect Zika-naïve mice and monkeys.