Monday, January 24, 2011

Potential vaccine for Chickungunya virus

Inovio Pharmaceuticals has announced that a recent study testing a vaccine for the Chickungunya virus had positive results. Chikungunya is an insect borne virus found in Africa and Asia and it is transmitted to human by Aedes mosquitoes. Chikungunya is in family Togaviridae and is a +ssRNA virus. The main reservoir for the virus is monkeys. The Makonde root, kungunyala, means to bend up, which is a reference to the posture of people with severe arthritic symptoms. Chikungunya causes fever, joint pain rash and eye inflammation. Currently there are not any approved vaccines for Chikungunya. The vaccine provided 100% protection in mice and is also being studies on rheus monkeys with good results.

Hannah Harrison

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