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K-State Today

February 8, 2017

K-State researchers co-author study that shows promising results from new Zika vaccine

By Sarah Hancock

Three K-State researchers are part of a multi-institutional team that has published promising results from a new Zika vaccine in Nature. "Zika virus protection by a single low-dose nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccination" was published on Feb. 2.

The newly developed vaccine induced a rapid and long-lived immune response in mice and nonhuman primates from a single low dose. The vaccine is safe and easy to deliver. It is made from modified messenger RNA that is nonreplicating, which eases safety concerns, and is delivered by liquid nanoparticles by injection just below the skin, which makes it easy to administer. The K-State researchers supplied the wild-type Zika virus used to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine.

"This is a good example of how scientists here at K-State can contribute to multidisciplinary collaboration toward the development of new control strategies for Zika virus. The immunogenic vaccine could potentially become one of the safe, efficacious and economical tools to prevent future Zika virus outbreaks," Huang said.

Stephen Higgs is university distinguished professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, associate vice president for research, and director of the Biosecurity Research Institute at K-State. Dana Vanlandingham and Yan-Jang Huang are assistant professor and research assistant professor, respectively, of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine.

Read a full news release about the research.