Navigation Links
NIAID begins clinical trial of West Nile virus vaccine

A small trial testing the safety of an experimental vaccine targeting West Nile virus (WNV) opened today at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. The vaccine, which will be tested first in 15 healthy adult volunteers, was developed for human clinical studies by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center (VRC), and Vical Inc., San Diego, based on an animal vaccine tested at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vical also manufactures the experimental vaccine.

"Although the prevalence of West Nile virus disease fluctuates seasonally and regionally, it continues to pose a serious public health threat, especially to older adults and people with weakened immune systems," says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the NIAID.

WNV, initially isolated in Uganda in 1937, made its first U.S. appearance in New York City in 1999. The virus usually is transmitted to humans through the bite of a mosquito that has been infected after feeding on an infected bird or animal. The virus also can be spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants and breastfeeding, as well as from mother to child during pregnancy. Most people experience no symptoms or only mild symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches; more serious cases can lead to infections of the brain and nervous system, such as encephalitis or meningitis. In 2004, 2,470 cases of WNV disease were reported in the United States, resulting in 88 deaths. Currently, no WNV vaccine is licensed for use in humans.

The experimental vaccine is composed of a small, circular piece of DNA--called a DNA plasmid--that contains genes that code for two key surface proteins of the West Nile virus. When the vaccine is injected into the muscle, the inner machinery of the muscle cells "reads" the DNA and converts it into two WNV proteins. Recognizing that the proteins are foreign, the muscle cells display them on their surface to alert the body's immune system--both helper T cells, which spur the production of antibodies to block the WNV from gaining entry into cells, and killer T cells, which kill WNV-infected cells outright.

"The DNA vaccine's exploitation of both cellular and antibody immunity offers a potentially potent defense against West Nile virus," says Barney Graham, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the VRC's Clinical Trials Core Laboratory. Adds Dr. Graham, "In our experience in clinical trials, DNA vaccines generally cause few side effects, making them a promising alternative to conventional vaccines."

Although no DNA vaccine has yet been licensed, other DNA vaccines developed by the VRC against HIV/AIDS, Ebola and SARS also are being tested in ongoing trials at NIH.

Fifteen healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 50 will receive three injections of the DNA vaccine into the upper arm: one at the start of the trial, a second approximately four weeks later, and a third approximately four weeks after that. To help force the DNA plasmid into muscle cells, the vaccine will be administered by a needle-free injector rather than a conventional needle syringe. Volunteers will be monitored for possible symptoms or side effects as well as the body's ability to generate WNV-specific antibodies and T cells. The vaccine cannot cause West Nile virus infection or disease because it does not contain infectious material from the virus. For more information on the WNV vaccine trial, call the Vaccine Research Center's toll free number 1-866-833-LIFE, or visit the VRC Web site http://www.niaid.nih.gov/vrc/clintrials/clinstudies.htm.

The vaccine in this study builds upon an experimental vaccine developed by CDC researcher Jeff Chang, D.V.M., Ph.D., of Fort Collins, CO, that has been tested successfully in a variety of animals, including mice, horses and American crows.

Two other human WNV vaccines developed with NIAID support are currently i n Phase I clinical trials. Called chimeric vaccines, these vaccines combine genes of the West Nile virus with genes of a closely related virus--yellow fever virus in the case of a vaccine developed by Acambis, Cambridge, MA, and dengue virus in the case of a vaccine developed by NIAID intramural researchers.


'"/>

Source:NIH


Related biology news :

1. NIAID Initiates Trial of Experimental Avian Flu Vaccine
2. New NIAID grants strengthen national biodefense and emerging infectious diseases research network
3. NIAID researchers show how promising TB drug works
4. NIAID DNA vaccine for H5N1 avian influenza enters human trial
5. NIAID expands capability for influenza research and surveillance
6. International trial of two microbicides begins
7. Wyoming cloud seeding experiment begins this month
8. Cancer scientists create human leukemia process to map how disease begins, progresses
9. Roche clinical trial registry and results database launched
10. Compound might defeat African sleeping sickness, clinical trial beginning this month
11. Neurologix announces positive results of gene therapy clinical trial in Parkinsons disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: