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).
The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona
Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research