The Zika Virus has been causing mayhem in the Americas since its arrival in 2015.
The disease affects mostly pregnant women, whose babies tend to be born with severe brain defects.
But it seems the virus which is transmitted through aedes mosquitoe bites would hopefully be contained by a new plant based vaccine.
The vaccine was created by scientists from the Arizona State University (ASU). They obtained a protein from tobacco plant called DIII, which envelopes and attacks an essential part of a Zika viral protein that plays a key role for the virus when infecting people. Experts have never seen a vaccine like this one before due to its coast and development. It is the first plant-based vaccine created for mosquito-virus.
“We did a test to make sure that the vaccine produces a potent protective immune response, but also, that it does not produce antibodies that may be cross reactive for dengue, West Nile, yellow fever or others,” Biodesign Center for IVV investigator, professor in the School of Life Sciences and ASU lead researcher Qiang “Shawn” Chen said to the Scientists Reports. “Our vaccine offers improved safety and potentially lowers the production costs more than any other current alternative, and with equivalent effectiveness”.
It has been tested on mice, but not yet on humans and as such whether or not it is foolproof is still undecided.
“Above all, we have to ensure the utmost safety with any Zika vaccine, especially because the people who will need it most, pregnant women, have the most worries about their own health, and the health of the foetus. This has to be 100 per cent safe and effective,” Chen explained.
Source: Science Daily