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Published On: Mon, Aug 8th, 2016

Universal Zika Vaccine is the Next Step Forward

Recent studies have shown that Zika virus can be treated on vaccinating the individuals against any single strain. Any of the existing strains can be attended to which in turn is bound to offer complete protection against this genetically diverse ailment.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the U.S have drafted a report which advocates in the favor of this idea— protecting the general population with a single strain vaccination. The scientists have formulated this theory in cohesion with experts from the Emory and Washington Universities.

Zika hails from the family of Flaviviridae virus and shows up with a mild condition— the Zika fever. This ailment shows up in one out of four individuals with the common symptoms being conjunctivitis or red eye, rash, fever and even joint pain.

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

While this virus is grouped into Asian and African lineages, the one affecting the American contingent happens to be the former. The virus has extended its effect to the extreme north— even up to the state of Florida where individuals are getting treatment irrespective of them showing the voter id card or driving license as identity proofs. The vaccination, if materialized will surely be a blessing for the infected ones.

An affected individual is immune against subsequent strains and outbreaks as the body when infected releases antibodies which in turn fight the ailment and confer protection against other strains. This theory forms the basis of the expected universal vaccination—making use of the immunological response against the disease.

This vaccine has been tested on rodents and the results were extremely motivating. Moreover, vaccination corresponding to one strain to expected to work on others lineages as well as every strain of Zika comes with identical antigens on the surface. This means that all of them correspond to one similar stereotype or species. This is why Zika Virus is easier to combat as compared to some of the other Flaviviridae strains like Dengue.

During the research, the infected serum samples were collected and mixed with other persistent strains. The viral combination was created to determine the effectiveness of the serum antibodies. To the elation of the scientists, antibodies found in the serum of those affected by the Asian lineage were capable of inhibiting both the strains with immediate effect. This study was fittingly replicated using an infected rodent and the results came out to be similar.

These studies go a long way in mitigating the fatal effects of this deadly virus and we hope the global rollout is initiated, at the earliest.

Author: Richard Smith

About the Author

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