In DepthInfectious Disease

Zika vaccine has a good shot

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  05 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6299, pp. 529-530
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6299.529

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Summary

Monkey studies of three different Zika vaccines showed that each one completely protected the animals from a "challenge" with the virus. The data suggest that it should not be difficult to stop Zika virus with a vaccine, and the first human trials of a candidate product began last week. Adding a sense of urgency to the vaccine hunt, health officials confirmed the first local transmission of Zika virus occurred in the United States. The cases occurred just north of Miami, Florida, an area that modelers had predicted would be hit by the disease because of it has a favorable climate for the mosquitoes that carry the virus and also has many travelers coming from parts of Latin America that have had a Zika epidemic for the past year. Proving whether a vaccine works in humans, however, could be challenging, some modelers say. Specifically, the Latin America epidemic could leave large portions of the population immune, substantially reducing transmission as early as next year—and making it more difficult to determine whether a vaccine can prevent spread.