Vaccine for the West Nile virus will begin with safety trials in humans
The National Institutes of Health announced that a vaccine that should protect people from the West Nile Virus, will start with human trials. The vaccine is called HydroVax-001. They will test the safety of this vaccine and how it affects on our immune system. In the lab trials, this vaccine protected mice from the West Nile Virus. Researchers discovered that it has a positive effect on their immune system. Also, appropriate antibodies and CD8+ T cells levels, are increased. These cells attack infected cells and eliminate the virus.
The first part of the trial will include placebo-controlled trial. It will be conducted at the Duke University School of Medicine. They expect to have 50 healthy volunteers (men and women between 18 and 50 years of age). Participants will be divided into three groups. The first group of 20 people will receive the real vaccine (1 mcg). The second group (20 volunteers) will receive a higher dose (4 mcg) and the third group (10 volunteers) will receive a placebo. All of them will receive a vaccine on the 1st and 29th day. Their condition will be monitored for next 14 months.
The vaccine has been developed at the OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University). It uses inactivated West Nile Virus. There is no reason for concern, because it cannot cause an infection. Researchers developed the vaccine using the new hydrogen peroxide process. It makes the virus inactive, but doesn’t affect on its appearance, so the immune system can recognize it. In addition, researchers said that it should be effective for many people and vulnerable groups.