As the CDC issues travel warnings for Miami, Florida, the National Institutes of Health are set to begin the first human trials for an experimental vaccine for Zika. Last week, Florida health officials identified four cases of the Zika virus that were likely transmitted by mosquitoes, which will make efforts to combat the illness even more difficult.
The first human trials for the vaccine will take place in Maryland and Georgia, according to Technology Review, and will involve 80 people in four study groups who will be injected with the vaccine and monitored for the next two years. Earlier this year, the DNA vaccine was proven to be effective in mice.
The vaccine in question is called a DNA Vaccine, a third-generation vaccine that contains some specific antigens from the disease in question. The host body will pick up the DNA from the pathogen and begin to formulate an immune response. This type of vaccine is different from others, which utilize weakened or dead germs to stimulate a response (such as for polio or smallpox) or a subunit of a pathogen.