The US researchers have developed a vaccine for chikungunya fever made from an insect-specific virus which does not have any bad effect on people. The vaccine would be safe and effective.
The study showed that the vaccine quickly produces a strong immune defence and protects mice and nonhuman primates from disease.
The study was published in the journal of Nature Medicine.
Senior author Scott Weaver from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston said, “This vaccine offers efficient, safe and affordable protection against chikungunya and builds the foundation for using viruses that only infect insects to develop vaccines against other insect-borne diseases.”
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne virus. The fever caused by this virus has some characteristics including severe joint pains, often in hands and feet, muscle pain, headache, rash or joint swelling.
Researchers said in this fever, death is rare but can occur sometimes.
Generally, the vaccine development involves trade-offs between how quickly the vaccine works and its safety.
The UTMB researchers used an Eilat virus clone to design a hybrid virus-based vaccine containing chikungunya structural proteins.
The Eilat or Chikungunya vaccine is identical to the natural chikungunya virus. The difference is the hybrid virus replicates very well in mosquito cells but it cannot replicate in mammals.
The research shows within four days of a single dose the Eilat/Chikungunya candidate vaccine induced neutralising antibiotics which lasted for more than 290 days.
The vaccine worked in two different mouse models and provided complete protection.
In nonhuman primates, Eilat/Chikungunya elicited rapid and robust immunity — there was neither evidence of the virus in the blood nor signs of illness such as fever after chikungunya virus infection.