Researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have developed a universal vaccine platform that cuts production and storage costs without compromising safety or effectiveness.
The investigators engineered a DNA-launched, live-attenuated vaccine (LAV) for Zika virus (ZIKV) that they then delivered into mice. They found that after a single low dose, the DNA platform protected the mice from ZIKV infection and maternal-to-fetal transmission.
Many vaccines are manufactured in cell culture or eggs and must be refrigerated during transportation. The cold chain system of transporting vaccines can contribute to more than 80% of the vaccine’s cost in warm climates. The DNA-LAV removes cold chain requirements, as DNA molecules are shelf-stable.
Pei-Yong Shi, PhD, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UTMB, is optimistic these findings could change the process of vaccine development. “This vaccine technology could potentially serve as a universal platform for development of live-attenuated vaccines for many viral pathogens,” he remarked.
To read more about this study, visit UTMB Health.
Zou J, Xie X, Luo H, et al. A single-dose plasmid-launched live-attenuated Zika vaccine induces protective immunity. EBioMedicine. 2018;36:92-102.