Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) developed the vaccine because there is no vaccine or treatment for chikungunya virus infection. Details about the vaccine were published today in the online version of Nature Medicine.
"Increases in global travel and trade, and possibly climate change, may be contributing to the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes into new areas," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "Finding safe and effective human vaccines for chikungunya virus and other insect-borne pathogens is an important global health priority."
To develop the vaccine, scientists in NIAID's Vaccine Research Center (VRC) identified the proteins that give rise to chikungunya VLPs. The VLPs mimic actual virus particles but cannot cause infection, so they can be used safely as a vaccine to elicit immune responses. The researchers immunized rhesus macaques with the VLPs, waited 15 weeks before exposing the animals to chikungunya virus, and observed that the vaccine provided complete protection from infection.
When the group found that antibodies were responsible for immune protection, they transferred antibody-containing serum from the vaccinated macaques to mice with deficient immune systems. The mice then were exposed to a lethal dose of chikungunya virus, but the immune serum protected them from infection.
"This virus-like particle vaccine provides a promising way to protect against an emerging infectious disease threat," says VRC Director Gary Nabel, M.D., Ph.D. "This same approach could possibly extend to viruses related to chikungunya that cause fatal diseases such as encephalitis." Dr. Nabel says his group plans to seek approval for clinical trials to further evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in humans.
There are two VLP vaccines for other diseases approved by the Food and Drug Administration: one for hepatitis B and one for human papillomavirus. This study marks the first time that scientists have used VLPs in a vaccine to protect against chikungunya virus, which is in the genus Alphavirus. The group plans to determine whether VLPs will work against other alphaviruses, such as Western and Eastern equine encephalitis virus found in the United States and o'nyong-nyong virus found in Africa.
Investigators from Purdue University, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and Bioqual, Inc., in Rockville, MD, collaborated with NIAID scientists on this study.
NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation's Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.
Reference: W Akahata et al. A VLP vaccine for epidemic Chikungunya virus protects non-human primates against infection. Nature Medicine. DOI: 10.1038/nm.2105 (2010).
Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)
CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy