December 10, 2020
Flaviviruses — a group of viruses transmitted by ticks or mosquitoes — infect an estimated 400 million people annually with diseases like yellow fever, Dengue fever, West Nile virus, and, most recently, Zika virus.
Outbreaks of Zika virus, a flavivirus originating in Africa, were once rare and isolated events. But in 2015, it arrived in the Americas and rapidly spread to 27 countries within the span of a year.
Zika virus outbreaks have now been recorded throughout Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, South America, and Central America. To protect the health of billions of people at risk and prevent future outbreaks, a team of Virginia Tech researchers received a $2 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a safe, effective, single-dose vaccine candidate for Zika virus.