Immunizing female mice with a Zika vaccine can protect their developing fetus from infection and birth defects during pregnancy, according to new research from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The findings are now available in Cell.
Although rapid and promising progress on developing vaccines has been made with animal models, the UTMB study is the first to demonstrate that potential vaccines could protect a fetus from the Zika virus.
“In the study, we were the first to show that two different potential vaccines given to the mother prevent the Zika virus from infecting the fetus during pregnancy in a mouse model,” said UTMB’s Pei-Yong Shi, senior author and the I.H. Kempner professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “Based on these data, we believe that evaluating the vaccines’ ability to prevent birth defects in humans is warranted.”
While a Zika infection typically results in mild or symptom-free infections in healthy adults and children, the risk of microcephaly and other diseases in a developing fetus is an alarming consequence that has created a worldwide health threat. Pregnant women who are infected with the Zika virus but never display any disease symptoms may still give birth to a baby with microcephaly.
Female mice were vaccinated against Zika with one of the two developing vaccines prior to becoming pregnant and then exposed to the virus during their pregnancies. Shi and colleagues found the vaccinated pregnant mice showed little or no evidence of the virus in the mothers’ body including the placenta or in the fetuses’ bodies.
“Having a Zika vaccine that can protect pregnant women and their unborn babies would improve public health efforts to avoid birth defects and other effects of the disease in regions where Zika is circulating,” Shi said.
Other authors include UTMB’s Chao Shan, Camila Fontes, Bruno Nunes, Daniele Medeiros, Antonio Muruato, Huanle Luo, Tian Wang, Alan Barrett, Scott Weaver and Shannan Rossi; Justin Richner, Brett Jagger, Bin Cao, Elizabeth Caine and Indira Mysorekar from Washington University School of Medicine; Kimberly Dowd, Bryant Foreman and Theodore Pierson from the National Institutes of Health; Sunny Himansu and Giuseppe Ciaramella from Valeria LLC, a Moderna Venture as well as Pedro Vasconcelos from Evandro Chagas Institute, Ministry of Health, Parå State University, Brazil.
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advances Research Projects Agency, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the March of Dimes, Moderna, UTMB, The University of Texas System, the Pan American Health Organization, the Ministry of Health of Brazil, the Brazilian Agency for Scientific and Technological Development and the Coordination of Professionals of High Level Degree of Ministry of Education of Brazil.
Texas Children's HospitalTexasChildrensHospital
Patients, families and staff of Texas Children's Cancer Center celebrated “Going Gold” for childhood cancer awareness with events this month at Texas Children's...
RT @McGovernMed: September is #HealthAgingMonth https://t.co/lgfbyggUy7
RT @McGovernMed: Clinical study to compare general anesthesia, sedation, in #stroke https://t.co/sETS9bOCaF
RT @BCMHouston_News: Food allergy vs. food intolerance: @bcmhouston's @TCHFoodMD explains important distinction and the body's response: ht?
How Pushpa Damle faced her fear of chemo to overcome #lungcancer: https://t.co/DS2LZfZDu0 #CancerMoonshot #LCSM? https://t.co/XjzS60lZHr
It's a beautiful day for a stroll through the @RiceFarmersMkt! https://t.co/LfzhxfXSUG
TAMU Health Sciences@TAMHSC
Research shows that having a community recovery plan isn't as effective if there isn't public participation https://t.co/6MOuU2nsgC
Texas Children's HospitalTexasChildrensHospital
Significant progress has been made inside Texas Children’s Legacy Tower! The 25-floor Legacy Tower will house 126 beds for pediatric and cardiovascular intensiv...
Check out the @ChaoCenter's Transnational Asia Speaker Series on Monday, Oct. 2! https://t.co/bmyZbroPwz
RT @BCMHouston_News: .@bcmhouston receives renewal SPORE grant from @theNCI to continue advancing #lymphoma #immunotherapy research. https:?
Mobile pantry to serve Veterans at VA sites https://t.co/OM0FcvLQw1 via @tdtnews
RT @tvparrot: Neat idea from @UTHealth ? Hurricane Harvey Heroes webpage highlights the unsung heroes in their hurricane approach. https://?
#HealthTipTuesday: Take safety precautions to avoid injuries while doing repairs after #Harvey. Learn more:? https://t.co/FMwtIrOZdw
Take safety precautions to avoid injuries while doing repairs after Hurricane Harvey. Learn more helpful recovery tips: https://www.utmb.edu/recovery
Baylor College of MedicineBaylorCollegeOfMedicine
Baylor College of Medicine ranks among the healthiest 100 workplaces in the U.S.