By Jill Drachenberg, Editor, AHC Media

Animal subjects are showing immunity to Zika infection after receiving a single dose of a vaccine, according to a new study.

The study results, published Thursday in the journal Nature, indicate that mice showed immunity to Zika five months after vaccination, while non-human primate subjects showed Zika immunity five weeks after inoculation.

Unlike traditional vaccines that use weakened or inert viruses to trigger immune response, this experimental vaccine uses messenger RNA to enter human cells and build immunity. It also requires only one dose, and can be injected just under the skin. First-in-human clinical trials could begin within a year, according to corresponding author Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medicine.

“These data demonstrate that nucleoside-modified mRNA-LNPs elicit rapid and durable protective immunity and thus represent a new and promising vaccine candidate for the global fight against ZIKV,” the study authors concluded.

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