The investigational Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV) vaccine was well-tolerated and induced an immune response in participants, according to initial results from three Phase 1 clinical trials. Scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), part of the U.S. Department of Defense, are developing the vaccine as well as leading one of the trials. WRAIR is also co-funding the trials together with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The results appeared online on December 4, 2017 in The Lancet. The open-access article is titled “Preliminary Aggregate Safety and Immunogenicity Results from Three Trials of a Purified Inactivated Zika Virus Vaccine Candidate: Phase 1, Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials.” "A vaccine is urgently needed to help prevent Zika infection, which can cause birth defects and other developmental abnormalities in babies born to infected women, as well as a constellation of other health problems in infected adults and children," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD. "We are encouraged by initial clinical trial results that indicate the ZPIV vaccine is safe and immunogenic, data that support additional clinical testing of the vaccine to determine its ability to prevent Zika virus infection." The ZPIV vaccine candidate contains whole Zika virus particles that have been inactivated and therefore cannot replicate and cause disease in humans. However, because the protein shell of the inactivated virus remains intact, it can be recognized by the immune system.
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