Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Experimental Chikungunya Vaccine Induces Robust Antibody Response

Published: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Last Updated: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Vaccine developed by NIH scientists performs well in early clinical trial.

An experimental vaccine to prevent the mosquito-borne viral illness chikungunya elicited neutralizing antibodies in all 25 adult volunteers who participated in a recent early-stage clinical trial conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The results are reported in the current issue of The Lancet.

The most distinctive symptom of chikungunya infection is severe joint pain accompanied by headache and fever. There are currently no vaccines or specific drug treatments for chikungunya. First identified in East Africa in the early 1950s, chikungunya virus caused sporadic illness in Africa and large urban outbreaks in Thailand and India in the 1960s and 1970s. It first appeared in the Western Hemisphere in late 2013.

As of August 8, more than 570,000 confirmed or suspected cases had been reported throughout the Americas. In the continental United States, 484 cases have been reported as of August 5, and the first two locally acquired infections were detected in Florida in mid-July.

"The two species of mosquito that spread chikungunya virus are found in parts of the continental United States, so it may just be a matter of time before this illness gains a foothold here," said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "Therefore, it is prudent to begin addressing this emerging public health threat with the development of vaccines, such as this one, which was designed and tested by scientists from the NIAID Vaccine Research Center."

In 2010, Vaccine Research Center (VRC) scientists and colleagues tested this candidate chikungunya vaccine in non-human primates. All of the immunized animals were protected from infection when later exposed to chikungunya virus.

In the newly reported trial, 23 healthy volunteers received three injections (two other volunteers received two injections) of vaccine at one of three different dosages (10, 20 or 40 micrograms) over a 20-week span. Antibody production was measured at multiple time points following each injection.

Investigators detected chikungunya neutralizing antibodies in all volunteers following the second injection, with a significant boost of neutralizing antibodies seen following the third injection. Vaccine-induced antibodies persisted in all volunteers, even those who received the lowest dosage, for at least 11 months after the final vaccination, suggesting that the vaccine could provide durable protection against disease.

"The candidate vaccine prompted a robust immunological response in recipients and was very well tolerated," noted VRC scientist Julie E. Ledgerwood, D.O., principal investigator of the trial. "Notably, the levels of neutralizing antibody produced in response to the experimental vaccine were comparable to those seen in two patients who had recovered from a chikungunya virus infection acquired elsewhere. This observation gives us additional confidence that this vaccine would provide as much protection as natural infection."

Whereas traditional vaccines are typically made from either killed viruses or from weakened live viruses, the experimental vaccine used in the trial is a different type: a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine. VLP vaccines contain the outer shell proteins of a virus without any of the material the virus needs to replicate inside cells. VLP vaccines often prompt an immune reaction similar to that of natural, whole virus and have a number of potential advantages over traditional vaccines, said Dr. Ledgerwood. Notably, because no live viruses are used in their manufacture, VLP vaccines do not need to be produced under high-level biocontainment conditions.

This candidate vaccine was delivered without an adjuvant - a substance added to vaccines to improve the immune response - but still prompted a good response, said Dr. Ledgerwood. If the candidate were to be formulated with an adjuvant, she added, it might be possible to achieve similar immune responses at lower vaccine dosages.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

In Uveitis, Bacteria in Gut May Instruct Immune Cells to Attack the Eye
NIH scientists propose novel mechanism to explain autoimmune uveitis.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Novel Mechanism to Explain Autoimmune Uveitis Proposed
A new study on mice suggests that bacteria in the gut may provide a kind of training ground for immune cells to attack the eye.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
HIV Control Through Treatment Durably Prevents Heterosexual Transmission of Virus
NIH-funded trial proves suppressive antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected people effective in protecting uninfected partners.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Starting Antiretroviral Treatment Early Improves Outcomes for HIV-infected Individuals
NIH-funded trial results likely will impact global treatment guidelines.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
For Most Children with HIV and Low Immune Cell Count, Cells Rebound After Treatment
NIH-funded study finds T-cell level returns to normal with time.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Strengthening the Immune System’s Fight Against Brain Cancer
NIH-funded research suggests novel way to improve vaccine efficacy in brain tumors.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Autoimmune Disease Super-Regulators Uncovered
Scientists discovered key genetic switches, called super-enhancers, involved in regulating the human immune system.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
NIH Announces $41.5 Million in Funding for the Human Placenta Project
Better understanding of the placenta promises to improve the health of mothers and children.
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
NIH-funded Scientists Create Potential Long-acting HIV Therapeutic
New molecule also might prevent HIV infection.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Link Between Powerful Gene Regulatory Elements and Autoimmune Diseases Revealed
Findings point to potential drug targets.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
NIH-Sponsored HIV Vaccine Trial Launches In South Africa
Early-stage trial aims to build on RV144 results.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Stem Cell Transplants May Halt Progression of Multiple Sclerosis
NIH-funded study yields encouraging early results.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Candidate H7N9 Avian Flu Vaccine Works Better With Adjuvant
Results of large NIH-sponsored trial demonstrate improved vaccine response when an adjuvant was used.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
NIH Awards Seven New Vaccine Adjuvant Discovery Contracts
Total funding for these contracts reach approximately $70 million over five years.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
NIH to Admit Patient Exposed to Ebola Virus for Observation
Ebola patients can be safely cared for at any hospital that follows CDC's infection control recommendations.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Scientific News
Antibiotic Overuse Might be Why so Many People Have Allergies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drug resistant bacteria cause 23,000 deaths and two million illnesses each year.
Molecular ‘Kiss Of Death’ Flags Pathogens For Destruction
Researchers have discovered that our bodies mark pathogen-containing vacuoles for destruction by using a molecule called ubiquitin, commonly known as the "kiss of death."
Opening the Door to Safer, More Precise Cancer Therapies
New method regulates when, and how strongly, cancer-killing therapeutic T cells are activated.
Vaccination On The Horizon For Severe Viral Infection Of The Brain
Researchers from the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich reveal possible new treatment methods for a rare, usually fatal brain disease.
What Do Animal Viruses Have to Do with Human Health?
Simon Anthony studies animal infections to prevent outbreaks in people.
‘Immune Camouflage’ may Explain H7N9 Influenza Vaccine Failure
The study is published in Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.
How Flu Viruses Gain The Ability To Spread
New study reveals the soft palate is a key site for evolution of airborne transmissibility.
New Cell Type May Help Explain Dangerous Food Allergies
Researchers have discovered a new cell type that appears to drive life-threatening food allergies and may help explain why some people get severe allergic reactions and others do not.
Scientists Create Immunity to Deadly Parasite by Manipulating Host’s Genes
Research suggests a novel approach to boosting immunity by removing the mechanism that allows pathogens to cause disease.
10 to 1: Bugs Win in NASA study
Bugs are winning out, and that's a good thing according to NASA's Human Research Program.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos