A new Zika vaccine has entered clinical trials in the UK, after the drug showed promising results in studies in animals.
Researchers at EARA member the University of Manchester and the University of Liverpool, believe the new vaccine could be a ‘major breakthrough’ in protecting against the Zika virus.
Infection by Zika is mostly spread by mosquitos, originally found in African countries but now in other regions including the Americas and Europe.
The virus can result in symptoms such as a rash, fever and joint pain, but it can also be passed on to the fetus from a pregnant mother, causing birth defects – the new vaccine is designed to be suitable for use in pregnancy.
The vaccine’s effect on dengue and yellow fever (two diseases that are common in the regions where Zika is found) will also be evaluated.
Dr Krishanthi Subramaniam, at Liverpool, said: “Vaccines like ours will enable us to be better prepared for the next Zika outbreak.”