Why we don’t have a vaccines for Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses

Why we don’t have a vaccines for Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses

This article by Suresh Mahalingam, Principal Research Leader, Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University and Michael Rolph, Senior research fellow, Griffith University explains where we are with the development of vaccines against mosquito borne viruses, including the Zika virus:


Note that live attenuated viruses are preferred for their greater effectiveness in generating memory lymphocytes, so people vaccinated have a greater chance of recognising the virus the next time they are exposed and fighting off the re-infection, but as the article states - "there is still the potential for these vaccines to cause disease, especially in recipients with weakened immune systems." which unfortunately includes us and is why we should never have live attenuated vaccines.

More Zika virus posts:



Meanwhile, welcome spiders and their webs - a meal for them might save you from a serious illness!


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3 Replies

  • Understanding the Zika Virus and Outbreak; Stanford T. Shulman, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago:


    Some interesting quotes:

    "The WHO has declared Zika a "global health emergency" and predicted the likely spread of the virus to all Western Hemisphere countries except Canada and Chile." So Chris and our other Canadian friends should be safe provided they stay at home :) .

    "Zika... was first discovered in 1947 (almost 70 years ago!) in the Zika Forest of Uganda near Lake Victoria, and it has only very recently been recognized as a potentially important human pathogen in the Western Hemisphere."

    "The full extent of Zika infections in any country is incompletely known because of the limited availability of testing reagents in areas of apparent endemicity in Central and South America."

    "Known vectors of Zika, Aedes aegypti and possibly Ae. albopictus, are found throughout much of the Western Hemisphere, and Zika transmission thus mirrors dengue and chikungunya." (My emphasis)

    "Apparently about 80% of human Zika virus infections are asymptomatic..."


  • great information as usual! Thanks Neil

  • For more on the class of viruses the Zika virus belongs to, how infections impact our body and potential means of controlling them, see:


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