Immune response to aid in development of Chikungunya vaccine

A natural immune response in the human body could eventually lead to the development of a vaccine for the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus.

Lisa Ng and a team from the A*STAR Singapore Immunology Network recently demonstrated that there may be a way to clinically exploit the initial immune response to CHIKV, which is led be a class of antibody capable of binding to and disabling the virus, according to

Ng's team worked with clinicians at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital to test blood samples from CHIKV positive patients. They discovered that in the early stages of recovery, the patients' blood contained large numbers of an antibody that targets a protein known as E2.

The presence of the antibody, which was seen in several groups of patients, was shown to not only be an indicator of early infection, to also be able to reduce overall infection rates in the blood samples.

"[This study is] highly relevant for the rational design of CHIKV vaccines and for the development of diagnostics for optimal clinical management of patients," Ng said, reports. "It may also inspire similar studies with other arthritic arboviruses that in many parts of the world cause severe morbidity with extensive incapacitation."