Development of vaccines against Zika virus

Zika virus is an emerging pathogen of substantial public health concern to human beings. Although most infections are asymptomatic or present with benign, self-limited symptoms, a small percentage of patients have complications, such as congenital anomalies in the developing fetus of pregnant women infected with the virus and neurological complications (eg, Guillain-Barre syndrome). To date, there is no vaccine, antiviral drug, or other modality available to prevent or treat Zika virus infection. In this Review, we examine vaccine development efforts for Zika virus to date and research gaps in the development of candidate vaccines against Zika virus. Top research priorities should include development of a better understanding of immunity to Zika virus to establish clear correlates of protection; determination of what effect, if any, Zika vaccine-induced immune responses will have on subsequent dengue virus infection; evaluation of vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy in healthy adults and in the various subpopulations affected by Zika virus infection (children, pregnant women, women of childbearing age, and eldery people); and identification of the molecular mechanisms that underlie birth defects and neurological sequelae related to Zika virus.

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Poland GA., Kennedy RB., Ovsyannikova IG., Palacios R, Ho PL, Kalil J. Development of vaccines against Zika virus. Lancet Infect. Dis.. 2018 Jul;18(7):e211-9. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30063-X.
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