Chikungunya was a disease which had no medicinal or vaccine cure. The 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 the University of Texas Medical Branch who developed the world’s first Chikungunya vaccine. The vaccine also does not affect the human body in any way. This is because the vaccine is made from a purely inspect-specific virus. “Since it does not in any way affect the human body, it’s 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 that caused disease characterised by fever and severe joint pain. The disease is caused by infected mosquito bites. The joint pain can last for a few weeks or years, in some people. Death is infrequent, but chances cannot be excluded.
Virus Used for Vaccine developing
The virus used as a vaccine platform is the Eilat virus, which infects only insects and cannot infect humans. The vaccine is 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 neutralising antibodies in the infected organism. The speciality of the virus is its rapid action in antibody production and thereby providing a quicker immune defence. When tested in two different kinds 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.