Advances in Designing and Developing Vaccines Against Zika Virus
The recent outbreaks of Zika virus (ZIKV) infections has changed the ZIKV status from a very mild self-limiting febrile virus to a highly pathogenic virus causing visual impairment, autoimmune response against myelin layer and microcephaly in affected fetus. The serious social impact on society has drawn the attention of the researchers globally. The search for an effective vaccine against ZIKV is on the way. Several researches as well as commercial organizations are indulged in developing vaccine for prophylactic and treatment purposes. In the present review, various vaccine strategies have been described including inactivated, attenuated, DNA, subunit, recombinant viral vectored and nucleic acid based vaccines. The vaccines developed should be clinically tested in animal models, which are susceptible for ZIKV infection like Stat2-/- mice, A129 (IFNAR-/-) Mice, Swiss Jim Lambert (SJL) mice or Rhesus macaques. Efficacy of each vaccination strategy is required to be meticulously evaluated. The use of vaccinomics could also help to discover appropriate vaccine candidate to induce the effective immune response. DNA and subunit vaccines may not be that much beneficial in endemic areas due to poor immunogenic potential; however, by adjuvanting or using specific devise to deliver DNA vaccine construct, efficacy may be improved. Investigations exploring the cross reaction between the already existing immunity and immunity against newly developed vaccines would be of interest and useful for researchers. Further, researches should target whether vaccines and/or antibodies against ZIKV can induce Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) resulting in subsequent enhancement of flavivirus infection. There are utmost requirements of sufficient resources in terms of infrastructure, funding, manpower, along with producing effective and safe ZIKV vaccine in commercial basis.
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