Rapid-onset countermeasures are the best way to protect military personnel, travelers, and residents in regions where emerging infections such as dengue and Zika viruses are already widespread and continue to expand day by day. This is the only way to protect and reduce the impact of viruses on the human population.
A research team undertook a study in this regard and has now proven that a single dose of experimental Zika vaccine in a patient who has suffered from dengue can boost pre-existing flavivirus immunity. In addition, it can also stimulate protective cross-neutralizing antibody responses in respect to both Zika and dengue viruses. The study is a ground-shattering advancement of the Zika Virus Vaccine Market. Furthermore, the proposed vaccine can be more efficient than anything produced until now and help medical personnel fight better against both viruses.
As a solution, researchers analyzed the antibody responses of a dengue-experienced volunteer. Such people contributed to the Phase 1 clinical trial of the Zika Purified Inactivated Virus (ZPIV) vaccine developed by WRAIR (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research). The team identified a potent cross-reactive antibody known as MZ4 that proved to have a potent ability to neutralize the dengue virus serotype-2 strain as well as the Zika virus. Furthermore, it was noted that MZ4 protected against Zika and dengue in a mouse model of infection. These results showcase the potential for MZ4 to be an effective treatment for these diseases.
To conclude, the team compared the individuals’ immune profiles. The individual with no previous exposure to the dengue virus was compared against the volunteer who had been exposed to dengue recently. They noticed that the latter experienced a sharp augment in antibodies that neutralized both viruses with only one dose of the ZPIV vaccine. The participants with no exposure to dengue before needed two vaccinations to reach a similar level of Zika antibody response. Furthermore, no cross-reactive antibody response was seen in response to the dengue virus.
Based on these findings, researchers took samples from another Phase 1 study of the ZPIV vaccine that is currently ongoing in Puerto Rico. As a result, researchers are investigating a higher risk of exposure to flaviviruses (a family of viruses including Zika, yellow fever, West Nile, dengue, and Japanese encephalitis viruses. In addition, the new findings combined prove that an effective Zika vaccine could potentially boost dengue virus immune responses as well as create potent Zika neutralizing antibodies. Hence, building up a prevention tool with a unique potential for regions where dengue and Zika are widely prevalent.
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