Chikungunya vaccine shows promise in early clinical trials

Friday, August 15, 2014

An experimental chikungunya vaccine developed by the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has shown promise in early clinical trials:
In the newly reported trial, 23 healthy volunteers received three injections (two other volunteers received two injections) of vaccine at one of three different dosages (10, 20 or 40 micrograms) over a 20-week span. Antibody production was measured at multiple time points following each injection. Investigators detected chikungunya neutralizing antibodies in all volunteers following the second injection, with a significant boost of neutralizing antibodies seen following the third injection. Vaccine-induced antibodies persisted in all volunteers, even those who received the lowest dosage, for at least 11 months after the final vaccination, suggesting that the vaccine could provide durable protection against disease.

“The candidate vaccine prompted a robust immunological response in recipients and was very well tolerated,” noted VRC scientist Julie E. Ledgerwood, D.O., principal investigator of the trial. “Notably, the levels of neutralizing antibody produced in response to the experimental vaccine were comparable to those seen in two patients who had recovered from a chikungunya virus infection acquired elsewhere. This observation gives us additional confidence that this vaccine would provide as much protection as natural infection.”
This is great news, particularly considered that the vector-borne disease just arrived in the US this year.

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