First Vaccine for chikungunya developed by Scientists

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Chikungunya was a disease which had no medicinal or vaccine cure. Only way to be protected from it was by preventing mosquito bites. Now the news we waited to hear about Chikungunya has finally come. A vaccine has been developed by researchers to cure the Chikungunya disease.

It is the researchers from University of Texas Medical Branch who developed the world’s first Chikungunya vaccine. The vaccine also does not affect the human body in anyway. This is because the vaccine is made from a purely inspect-specific virus. “Since it does not in any way affect human body, it’s totally safe too”, says the research team.

The test results indicate that the vaccine is also a quick acting one.  “The vaccine could provide affordable protection against Chikungunya and this could also lead to

Newer thinking of developing new vaccines from insect-specific viruses”, says the UTMB professor Scott Weaver, who is the senior author of this paper.

Chikungunya is a virus caused disease characterized by fever and severe joint pain. The disease is caused through infected mosquito bites. The joint pain can last for few weeks or for years, in some people. Death is very rare, but chances cannot be excluded.

Virus Used for Vaccine developing

The virus used as vaccine platform is Eilat virus, which infects only insects and do not have ability to infect humans. The vaccine is actually a custom-made/hybrid virus made by introducing Chikungunya structural proteins into the existing insect-specific Eilat virus. This vaccine or hybrid virus, is structurally identical to the natural Chikungunya virus.

Working of the vaccine

The vaccine, when injected to a diseased body, induces neutralizing antibodies in the infected body.  The specialty of the virus is its rapid action in antibody production and thereby providing a quicker immune defense. When tested in two different kind of mouse, the antibodies showed giving complete protection from the disease. When tested in non-human primates, the vaccinated animals showed neither signs of Chikungunya virus in their blood, nor the sign of illness in their body.

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