Scientists at a research institute in Central China’s Hubei province have developed a new vaccine candidate in the fight against Zika virus, Hubei Daily reports.
Using a technology called synthetic attenuated virus engineering, a research team at the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a vaccine candidate that, in tests on mice, decreased the replication efficiency of the virus and weakened its virulence, the report said.
Zika virus, which can cause congenital brain abnormalities in newborns if their mothers are infected during pregnancy, is primarily transmitted to humans through infected mosquitoes. It can cause babies to be born with microcephaly, a condition that makes their heads smaller than usual.
Its symptoms can include fever, rashes and headaches.
First identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947, the virus has caused disease outbreaks in Africa, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region, according to the World Health Organization.
Vaccines for the virus are still under development in China and abroad, and no product has been approved for sale yet, the institute in Wuhan said. (China Daily)
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