A new-gen DNA based Zika vaccine have been developed and is found to be safe and effective during early human trials, with anti-Zika immune responses developed. This gives hopes to successfully battle against mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Zika virus continues to be a threat to people living in the America, Africa and the Caribbean; and it is spreading because of huge number of mosquitoes. So long, there is no medicine and there is no vaccine for treating Zika, but the virus does have a natural enemy – antibodies created by the immune system’s response to infection. Now it was known that antibodies possess the power to neutralize Zika virus, but a person has to be infected for their immune system to kick in and develop antibodies. With this, a DNA-based Zika vaccine from Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc and South Korea’s GeneOne Life Science Inc induced anti-Zika immune responses in an early stage human trial.

Unlike conventional vaccines, which often use inactivated or killed versions of a virus, the Inovio-GeneOne shot is a synthetic vaccine made by reproducing sections of the Zika virus genome in a lab, and then loading them onto a ring of genetic material called a plasmid. This vaccine is then injected beneath the skin and followed up with a device that generates electrical impulses, creating small pores in cells that allow the DNA to pass into cells. Now as per tests after three doses of the Zika vaccine shot, which is also called GLS-5700, all 40 healthy volunteers in the study developed Zika-specific antibodies.

This means infecting our own bodies with lab-developed synthetic Zika virus so that our body wakes up and develop anti-bodies before any virus actually attacks the body. This is very early to declare, but this DNA-based vaccine can actually abolish Zika virus and scientists say that this the vaccine is very fast and has proved to be affective in recent early human as well as animal trials; and let’s hope it gets successful.