February 8, 2020
Mosquito-carried diseases such as the Zika virus and Dengue continue to thrive in warm temperate parts of the world, but new US Department of Defense research suggests we are on the cusp of a vaccine that could potentially work to fight both infections.
A new study published online in Nature Medicine reveals results from an ongoing project led by scientists from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. In the Phase 1 trial, scientists found that an antibody, named MZ4, was able to have a positive effect on both the Zika virus and the dengue virus. Although the early stages, these results suggest this antibody may one day play a role in a universal vaccine that would be able to work against the Zika virus and dengue.
“Rapid-onset countermeasures are needed to protect military personnel, travelers and residents in areas where emerging infections such as Zika and dengue viruses are already widespread and expanding,” said Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, who leads the U.S. Army Zika vaccine program, directs the Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch at WRAIR and is one of the lead authors on the paper, in a press release.”These results demonstrate the potential for MZ4 to be part of the prevention toolbox for these diseases.”