Zika vaccine race overlooks need for global strategy to combat mosquito-borne diseases

In terms of potential vaccines, the vast majority of Zika vaccine products are currently in early preclinical trials

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The development of a protective vaccine against the Zika virus represents only one step in providing a long-term solution to the disease, and should be viewed in the context of tackling all mosquito-borne diseases, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company's latest analysis covering the endemic states that the uncertainty around the Zika virus, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito, has brought Flaviviruses to the world's attention and should be used not only to develop a vaccine specifically protecting against the Zika virus, but to formulate a global strategy against mosquito-borne diseases.

Dr Mirco Junker, GlobalData's Analyst covering Infectious Diseases, says: "The Zika virus is a member of the genus Flavivirus, a group of single-stranded RNA viruses that also includes dengue, West Nile, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and chikungunya virus, all of which are transmitted by mosquitoes.

"Approaches to combatting the vector instead of the virus include the prevention of vector reproduction through limiting the breeding ground, insecticides, direct genetic manipulation, or the usage of bacteria ultimately leading to the demise of the mosquitoes."

In terms of potential vaccines, the vast majority of Zika vaccine products are currently in early preclinical trials, indicating that it will take many years until one of them receives market approval.

 

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