UTMB Finds Way to Reduce Vaccine Production and Storage Costs

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Researchers at UTMB delivered a DNA-launched, live-attenuated vaccine for Zika virus into mice.
Researchers at UTMB delivered a DNA-launched, live-attenuated vaccine for Zika virus into mice.

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.

Reference

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.

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