Zika News Releases

Monoclonal Antibodies Against Zika Show Promise in Monkey Study
October 5, 2017

Using blood samples from an individual previously infected with Zika virus, scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have developed an antibody-based Zika virus therapeutic that protected monkeys from infection.

Multiple Research Approaches Are Key to Pandemic Preparedness, NIAID Officials Say
October 4, 2017

Preparedness in the face of major disease outbreaks can save thousands of lives: Rapid deployment of effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines may even stop the disease from potentially exploding into a pandemic. A new article by Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues examines the multifaceted nature of effective preparedness and the particular role that biomedical research plays.

Zika Virus Selectively Infects and Kills Glioblastoma Cells in Mice
September 5, 2017

The Zika virus (ZIKV) may infect and kill a specific type of brain cancer cells while leaving normal adult brain tissue minimally affected, according to a new study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In the paper, published online on September 5 in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, researchers describe the impact of ZIKV on glioblastoma cells in both human tissue samples and mice.

NIH Scientists Track Zika Virus Transmission in Mice
August 3, 2017

National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have developed a mouse model to study Zika virus transmitted sexually from males to females, as well as vertically from a pregnant female to her fetus. They are using the model to study how and when the virus is spread, including how the virus crosses the placenta, as well as to investigate potential treatments to block virus transmission.

Experimental Zika Virus Vaccines Restrict In Utero Virus Transmission in Mice
July 13, 2017

Two experimental vaccines can restrict Zika virus transmission from pregnant mice to their fetuses and can prevent Zika virus-induced placental damage and fetal demise, according to new findings published July 13 in Cell. Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB); and other partners conducted the research.

Study to Examine Effects of Zika Infection in Guatemalan Infants and Children
June 19, 2017

A large natural history study examining the neurologic, neurodevelopmental and other clinical outcomes of Zika virus infection in infants and young children has begun in rural Guatemala. It will focus on those infected with Zika virus after birth rather than those infected congenitally. The study is being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S.

Zika Virus Spread Undetected for Many Months, NIH-Supported Study Finds
May 24, 2017

Genetic analysis of samples collected as the Zika virus (ZIKV) spread throughout the Americas after its introduction in 2013 or 2014 has shown that the virus circulated undetected for up to a year in some regions before it came to the attention of public health authorities. Genetic sequencing has also enabled scientists to recreate the epidemiological and evolutionary paths the virus took as it spread and split into the distinct subtypes—or clades—that have been detected in the Americas. The research, published in Nature today, was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Zika Virus Persists in the Central Nervous System and Lymph Nodes of Rhesus Monkeys
April 28, 2017

Zika virus can persist in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), lymph nodes and colorectal tissue of infected rhesus monkeys for weeks after the virus has been cleared from blood, urine and mucosal secretions, according to a study published online in Cell. The research was led by Dan H. Barouch, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School and was funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Phase 2 Zika Vaccine Trial Begins in U.S., Central and South America
March 31, 2017

Vaccinations have begun in a multi-site Phase 2/2b clinical trial testing an experimental DNA vaccine designed to protect against disease caused by Zika infection. The vaccine was developed by government scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Immune Molecule Protects Against Zika Virus Infection in Animal Models
March 14, 2017

A molecule naturally produced by the immune system protects mice and monkeys against Zika virus infection, an international team of researchers has found. Administering the molecule, called 25-hydroxycholesterol or 25HC, to pregnant mice reduced Zika virus infection in the fetal brain and protected against Zika-induced microcephaly. The work was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health.

NIH Begins Study of Vaccine to Protect Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases
February 21, 2017

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has launched a Phase 1 clinical trial to test an investigational vaccine intended to provide broad protection against a range of mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as Zika, malaria, West Nile fever and dengue fever, and to hinder the ability of mosquitoes to transmit such infections. The study, which is being conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, will examine the experimental vaccine’s safety and ability to generate an immune response. 

Investigational mRNA Vaccine Protects Mice and Monkeys from Zika Virus Infection
February 2, 2017

A novel, gene-based investigational vaccine protected mice and monkeys against Zika virus infection after a single dose, according to a study appearing online in the journal Nature on Feb. 2. The research was conducted by investigators funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIAID scientists, and other partners. The candidate vaccine, called ZIKV prM-E mRNA-LNP, uses messenger RNA (mRNA) with which the body produces Zika virus proteins designed to elicit infection-neutralizing antibodies.

NIAID Officials Call for Continued Zika Research
January 13, 2017

Although cases of Zika virus infection appear to be decreasing, the mosquito-borne virus likely will become endemic in the Americas and continue to cause outbreaks and sporadic cases. Given the serious complications of Zika virus infection, particularly in cases of congenital infection, researchers must continue their work to better understand how the virus causes disease and to develop effective vaccines and treatments, according to a new commentary. The article, by Anthony S.

Testing of Investigational Inactivated Zika Vaccine in Humans Begins
November 7, 2016

The first of five early stage clinical trials to test the safety and ability of an investigational Zika vaccine candidate called the Zika Purified Inactivated Virus (ZPIV) vaccine to generate an immune system response has begun at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Clinical Trial Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. Scientists with WRAIR, part of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), developed the vaccine.

Antibody Protects Against Fetal Disease in Mouse Model of Zika Infection
November 7, 2016

Administering a human antibody that neutralizes Zika virus to pregnant mice before or after Zika virus infection reduced levels of the virus in placental and fetal tissues and decreased fetal disease, new findings show. The work may aid development of vaccines and therapies for Zika virus infection, which can cause severe birth defects when it occurs during pregnancy.

Zika Infection Damages Mouse Testes, NIAID-Supported Study Finds
October 31, 2016

New research in male mice has revealed that Zika virus infection can break down and severely damage the animals’ testes. Whether these findings have any bearing on the potential impact of the virus on the reproductive health of infected men is unclear; however, the study findings suggest this is an important question to explore. Results from the study, conducted by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, appear in Nature online October 31.

Media Availability: Federal Officials Outline Development Pathways to a Zika Vaccine
September 28, 2016

A safe and effective vaccine to protect against Zika virus infection is essential and should be feasible to develop, according to a commentary in the September 29th print issue of The New England Journal of Medicine by Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Hilary D. Marston, M.D., of NIAID; Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H., Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Luciana L. Borio, M.D., acting chief scientist, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The federal officials describe three potential strategies for conducting Zika vaccine clinical trials with each strategy dependent on disease incidence and likelihood of generating reliable data.

Experimental Zika Virus DNA Vaccines Protective in Monkeys
September 22, 2016

Two experimental Zika virus DNA vaccines developed by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists protected monkeys against Zika infection after two doses, according to a study published in Science. One of those vaccines is being evaluated in a Phase 1 human trial now under way in three U.S. locations to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and ability to generate immune responses in people.

Three Vaccine Approaches Protect Monkeys Against Zika Infection
August 4, 2016

Three different investigational Zika virus vaccine platforms—an inactivated virus vaccine, a DNA-based vaccine, and an adenovirus vector-based vaccine—protected against infection, induced immune responses, and produced no adverse side effects when tested in rhesus macaques challenged with the Zika virus, according to findings appearing August 4 in the journal Science.

NIH Begins Testing Investigational Zika Vaccine in Humans
August 3, 2016

​The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched a clinical trial of a vaccine candidate intended to prevent Zika virus infection. The early-stage study will evaluate the experimental vaccine’s safety and ability to generate an immune system response in participants.

Zika Infection Is Caused by One Virus Serotype, NIH Study Finds
July 29, 2016

Vaccination against a single strain of Zika virus should be sufficient to protect against genetically diverse strains of the virus, according to a study conducted by investigators from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Washington University in St. Louis; and Emory University in Atlanta.

Studies in Mice Provide Insights into Antibody-Zika Virus Interactions
July 27, 2016

In research that could inform prophylactic treatment approaches for pregnant women at risk of Zika virus infection, investigators conducted experiments in mice and identified six Zika virus antibodies, including four that neutralize African, Asian and American strains of the mosquito-borne virus.

Zika Virus Infection May Be Prolonged in Pregnancy
June 29, 2016

Zika virus infection confers protection against future infection in monkeys, but lingers in the body of pregnant animals for prolonged periods of time, according to research funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The findings appear in the June 28 issue of Nature Communications.

Zika Vaccines Protect Mice from Infection
June 28, 2016

A single dose of either of two experimental Zika vaccines fully protected mice challenged with Zika virus four or eight weeks after receiving the inoculations. The research, conducted by investigators supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, suggests that similar vaccines for people could be similarly protective.

NIH Launches Large Study of Pregnant Women in Areas Affected by Zika Virus
June 21, 2016

The National Institutes of Health and Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz (Fiocruz), a national scientific research organization linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, have begun a multi-country study to evaluate the magnitude of health risks that Zika virus infection poses to pregnant women and their developing fetuses and infants. The study is opening in Puerto Rico and will expand to several locations in Brazil, Colombia and other areas that are experiencing active local transmission of the virus.

Zika Virus Protein Could Be Vaccine Target
May 19, 2016

A viral protein known as NS5 is a promising target for vaccines against Zika and related viruses, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and colleagues at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine.

Zika Virus Damages Placenta, Kills Fetal Mice
May 11, 2016

Zika virus infects and crosses the placentas of pregnant mice and causes severe damage or death in fetal mice, report scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health.

NIH Doctors Describe Severe Case of Ebola Virus Disease
April 4, 2016

For more than a month in 2015, a multidisciplinary team including infectious disease and critical care physicians and nurses, respiratory therapists and other specialists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) treated a critically ill patient who had contracted Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone. 

Structure of Zika Virus Determined
March 31, 2016

A near-atomic level map of Zika virus shows its structure to be largely similar to that of dengue virus and other flaviviruses, but with a notable difference in one key surface protein, report scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

NIH Seeks Research Applications to Study Zika in Pregnancy, Developing Fetus
February 5, 2016

The National Institutes of Health today announced its research priorities for studies to investigate how Zika virus infection affects reproduction, pregnancy and the developing fetus.  Zika virus currently is circulating in about 30 countries and territories, notably in Latin America and the Caribbean.