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Development of a recombinant chimeric vaccine against Zika Virus

Grant number: 19/10565-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Luiz Tadeu Moraes Figueiredo
Grantee:Victória Thomazelli Garcia
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Flavivirus are arboviruses of great importance for public health in Brazil, including Yellow Fever virus (YFV), the four Dengue serotypes (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV). ZIKV was recently introduced in the country, producing an epidemic of acute febrile illness in 2015. ZIKV has been associated with congenital disease that affects the fetal nervous system causing microcephaly in newborns. Also, ZIKV infections are associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Thus, the development of vaccines against ZIKV infections is of paramount importance worldwide, specially in Brazil. Therefore, the main objective of the present study is develop a chimeric vaccine against ZIKV, called YFV17D-ZIKV, from the infectious clone of the Yellow Fever 17D vaccine virus by exchanging its structural genes prM (membrane precursor) and E (envelope) by the respective genes of ZIKV. The study includes the production of the YFV17D-ZIKV chimeric vaccine the preliminary immunogenicity assays and protection tests in mice. This may be the first step in the development of a reliable vaccine against ZIKV infections, which is of great importance in public health.