Wistar Institute research suggests strategies for combating Chikungunya virus

The vaccination provides stable, persistent responses against the Chikungunya virus. | File photo
A Wistar Institute study recommends combating Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) through boosting the immune system by rapidly producing CHIKV antibodies as well as a traditional DNA-based vaccine.

"Antigen-based vaccination strategies require a lag time that leaves patients susceptible to infection and disease," Wistar Institute Executive Vice President David Weiner, who is also director of Wistar's Vaccine Center, said. "This novel strategy for generating rapid immune protection has the ability to fill this gap in the way vaccines are developed for CHIKV and other emerging and dangerous diseases."

The virus, which has occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe and, in late 2013, in the Americas, is transmitted through mosquitoes. It causes fever and joint pain that in serious cases can be disabling.

"The vaccination regimen we tested in this study provided stable, persistent responses against a virus with rapidly increasing global incidence," said Wistar Institute Assistant Professor Karrupiah Muthumani. "This new approach will likely have importance for a variety of infectious and non-infectious diseases."

The study was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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