Zika vaccines 'give total protection, ready for human trials'

05 August 2016 - 09:36 By ©The Daily Telegraph

Three Zika vaccines have been found to give complete protection against the virus in monkeys and scientists say they are ready to be trialled on humans. The breakthrough offers hope that within months an effective jab will be available to prevent the devastating infection, which has been linked to more than 1,700 cases of microcephaly, a birth defect that leaves babies with shrunken heads.Yesterday, a collaboration of scientists, including researchers from Harvard University and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, confirmed that tests of three vaccines had given complete immunity to rhesus monkeys. Tens of thousands of babies may be born with Zika disorders: studyTens of thousands of babies may be born with debilitating Zika-related disorders in the course of the outbreak sweeping through Latin America and the Caribbean, researchers said Monday.British virologists said the announcement was ''as good a result as you could have wished for'', and an ''important step'' in combating the disease.Senior author Dr Dan Barouch, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre said: ''Three vaccines provided complete protection against Zika virus in non-human primates, which is the best animal model prior to starting clinical trials. Florida probes second possible Zika case in non-travelerA second case of Zika virus possibly acquired locally is being investigated in Florida, just days after the first potential case was announced in Miami, officials said Thursday.''The consistent and robust protection against Zika virus in both rodents and primates fuels our optimism about the development of a safe and effective Zika vaccine for humans.''Laboratories across the world have been rushing to develop a vaccine since the Zika outbreak began last year.The pressure has mounted after it was confirmed this week that 15 people in Florida, US, had caught the virus from local populations of mosquitoes. In an unprecedented move, the Center for Disease Control warned pregnant women to keep away from an area of north Miami. ..

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