March 23, 2018

Wash U Researchers Make Zika Vaccine Breakthrough

14 July 2017, 03:44 | Winifred Adams

Fighting Infections, Old And New

Microsoft Google unite to fight against disease-carrying mosquitoes

The vaccine research also involves scientific teams from the University of Washington, the University of Texas and the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"Zika happens in a historical context ... it mainly affects the periphery, mainly affects brown, black and young women", said Jamie Nadal, a representative of the U.N. Population Fund during a conference earlier this year.

Mice treated with hydroxychloroquine have lower levels of detectable virus in their placentas and less placental damage, compared to untreated mice, the findings showed. The findings offer evidence that an effective vaccine administered prior to pregnancy can protect vulnerable fetuses from Zika infection and resulting injury.

Because mouse pregnancies are so short, the study did not gauge the vaccines' efficacy when given during pregnancy, nor did it address the vaccines' utility in sexually transmitted Zika.

However more than a third of Brazil's 206 million people lack access to a continuous water supply and adequate sanitation, leaving them vulnerable...

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Years of neglect, exacerbated by a recent economic recession, have contributed to water and wastewater conditions that allow Aedes mosquito populations to flourish, the report says.

The report also called on Brazilian authorities to decriminalize abortion and to provide children with Zika syndrome with services enabling them to have "the best possible quality of life". The report also notes that poor wastewater infrastructure creates standing water, and the group estimates that 35 million Brazilians lack facilities and services to dispose of human waste.

It said criminalizing abortion had led many pregnant and women to turn to clandestine procedures that were often unsafe.

In other worldwide Zika developments, India's health ministry has announced it will screen newborns for Zika-related microcephaly, the India-based Tribune News Services reported today.

A drug already in use to treat malaria and certain autoimmune diseases in pregnant women has shown promise in reducing transmission of Zika virus from mothers to their foetuses, according to a new study led by an Indian-origin researcher. A health ministry official said the screening will be done as part of surveillance for other birth defects, and the Zika-specific component will start soon and be done on an experimental basis.

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