Tag Archives: Zika

DoD | Human Trials Begin for Army-Developed Zika Vaccine

By Cheryl Pellerin, DoD News, Defense Media Activity / Published Nov. 8, 2016

A clinical trial began yesterday at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, where 75 participating healthy adults were vaccinated with a Zika virus vaccine that the institute’s scientists developed earlier this year, Walter Reed officials announced today.zika

Laboratory-confirmed Zika virus disease cases reported to ArboNET by state or territory as of Nov. 2, 2016. ArboNET is a national surveillance system for arthropod-borne virus diseases in the United States, such as those from ticks and mosquitoes.

The Phase 1 trial will test the safety and immunogenicity — the ability of the vaccine to trigger an immune response in the body — of the purified, inactivated Zika virus vaccine called ZPIV. The vaccine is being tested at WRAIR’s Clinical Trial Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“The Army has moved efficiently from recognizing Zika virus as a threat, producing ZPIV for use in animals and demonstrating its effectiveness in mice and monkeys, producing ZPIV for human testing, and now initiating clinical trials to establish its safety and build the case for subsequent efficacy trials,” Army Col. (Dr.) Nelson Michael, director of WRAIR’s Military HIV Research Program, or MHRP, and Zika program co-lead, said in a statement.

Efficacy refers to the vaccine’s ability to demonstrate a health effect when tested in a clinical trial.  “All of this,” he added, “was done in 10 months.”

Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, Zika program co-lead and associate director for emerging infectious disease threats at WRAIR’s MHRP, said the Army was able to move so quickly in developing, manufacturing and testing a Zika vaccine “because of its extensive experience with this vaccine platform and longstanding investments in the understanding and mitigation of flaviviruses like yellow fever, dating back to the founding of WRAIR.”

DoD Zika Response

WRAIR officials say this study is part of the Defense Department response to the ongoing Zika outbreak in North and South America and Southeast Asia.

For service members, there are concerns about infection during deployment and travel, but also in the continental United States, where most military installations are concentrated in southern states. There, climate conditions and mosquito populations favor Zika transmission, WRAIR officials say.mosquito

Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito — Aedes aegypti, shown here, and Aedes albopictus. The same mosquitoes spread dengue and chikungunya viruses. The mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases. They prefer to bite people and live indoors and outdoors near people. Mosquitoes that spread chikungunya, dengue, and Zika are aggressive daytime biters, but they can also bite at night. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. CDC photo by James Gathany

As of Nov. 2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 149 cases of Zika infection were confirmed in the military health system, including four pregnant service members and one pregnant family member.

Zika infection during pregnancy, CDC says, can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.

Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits and impaired growth. And reports have increased about Guillain-Barré syndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, in areas affected by Zika, CDC says.

But even Zika infections without symptoms “can lead to severe birth defects and neurological complications,” Zika study principal investigator Army Maj. (Dr.) Leyi Lin said, adding, “A safe and effective Zika vaccine that prevents infection in those at risk is a global public-health priority.”

Zika and Other Flaviviruses

Flaviviruses like Zika are found mainly in mosquitoes and ticks and cause widespread morbidity and mortality worldwide. Other mosquito-transmitted viruses that are members of the flavivirus genus include yellow fever, or YF, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, or JE, and West Nile viruses, according to the CDC web page.

“We want to assess the safety and immune response of the ZPIV vaccine in JE and yellow fever YF vaccine recipients because these vaccines may alter the response to the ZPIV vaccine,” Lin said.

“Uniquely,” he added, “illness as a result of natural infection from JE, YF or Zika could be more severe when prior flavivirus infection or vaccination exists. Our study assesses co-vaccination to learn how to reduce risk when protecting against circulating flaviviruses.”

This is important for service members who are vaccinated against other flaviviruses and then stationed in or deployed to areas where Zika is becoming endemic, WRAIR scientists say.

Zika Vaccine Platform

WRAIR’s inactivated flavivirus vaccine platform was the same technology the institute used to create its Japanese encephalitis vaccine, licensed in 2009.

An earlier preclinical study found that rhesus monkeys vaccinated with ZPIV developed a strong immune response and were protected against two strains of Zika virus.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health, helped identify the viral strain used in the ZPIV vaccine, supported the preclinical safety testing and is sponsoring the conduct of this trial.

WRAIR, NIAID and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, have established a joint research collaboration agreement to support the vaccine’s development.

The Pilot Bioproduction Facility at WRAIR manufactured the ZPIV vaccine being used in Phase 1 clinical studies, and the Army recently signed a cooperative research and development agreement to transfer the ZPIV technology to Sanofi Pasteur to explore larger-scale manufacturing and advanced development. BARDA recently awarded a six-year contract to Sanofi Pasteur to further develop this vaccine to licensure, according to the WRAIR release.

Other ZPIV Trials

WRAIR’s ZPIV candidate also will soon be part of an NIH trial that began in August. The NIH vaccine contains DNA that instructs volunteers’ cells to make certain Zika proteins that then illicit an immune response. As part of that study, WRAIR’s ZPIV vaccine will be given to volunteers as a booster after they receive the NIH DNA vaccine, WRAIR officials say.

Three more Phase 1 trials using ZPIV are scheduled to begin this year, the WRAIR release noted:

— St. Louis University researchers, through the NIAID-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units network, will examine the optimal dose of the vaccine to be used in larger studies.

— Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School researchers will evaluate the safety and immune response from a compressed vaccine schedule.

— The Ambulatory Center for Medical Research, part of Ponce Health Sciences University in Puerto Rico, will examine the vaccine’s safety and immune response in participants who have already been naturally exposed to Zika or dengue viruses.

The WRAIR trial that began yesterday is sponsored by NIAID and funded by the Army and the Defense Department.

For more information about how Sentry’s proven vaccine management system can protect your vaccine throughout the global supply chain, contact Sentry via email or by phone at 1-866-757-7400.

For more information: https://www.defense.gov/DesktopModules/ArticleCS/Print.aspx?PortalId=1&ModuleId=753&Article=999584

Guidelines for US Citizens and Residents Living in Areas with Ongoing Zika Virus Transmission

Secure vaccine storage and distribution services protect your inventory throughout the supply chain. Sentry BioPharma Services ensures proper vaccine storage, rotation, accurate tracking and proper distribution of vaccines for routine fulfillment or pandemic response. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) and validated cold chain storage environments minimize time-out-of-refrigeration (TOR) risks, helping to reduce or eliminate waste attributable to inadequate storage methods.  Although today there is no vaccine available for Zika, several Sentry biotech clients are working to develop a vaccine for fast track clinical trials.   Sentry is providing the following information from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the Zika virus in order to update our readers concerning the prevention of the spread of this worldwide epidemic.

What is Zika?

Zika is disease caused by a virus that is primarily spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Many people who get infected never have symptoms. In people who get sick, symptoms (fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes) are usually mild and resolve completely.

Zika can cause serious birth defects in babies born to women who were infected with Zika shutterstock_363993479virus during pregnancy. Zika has also been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder that can cause muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. Most people fully recover from GBS, but some have permanent damage and, in some cases, people have died.

Zika can also spread when a man who has Zika has sex with female or male sex partners. A man can pass Zika to his partners even if he does not have symptoms at the time, or if his symptoms have gone away. We do not know how long a man who has had Zika can pass it on to his partners from sex. The mosquitoes that spread Zika usually do not live at elevations above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters). People who live in areas above this elevation are at a very low risk of getting Zika from a mosquito unless they visit or travel through areas of lower elevation. Because there is no vaccine or treatment for Zika, people living in areas with Zika should take steps to prevent infection.

Prevent Mosquito Bites

All residents living in areas where Zika is spreading should take steps to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Use insect repellents that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or IR3535. Always use as directed.
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
    • Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children older than 2 months of age. To apply, adults should spray insect repellent onto hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (boots, pants, socks, tents). You can buy pre-treated items or treat them yourself.*
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.
  • Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies younger than 2 months old in carriers, strollers, or cribs to protect them from mosquito bites.

*Permethrin should not be used in Puerto Rico.

Pregnant Women and Zika

Zika virus can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus and can cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly in babies of women who had Zika virus while pregnant. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly. Other problems, such as eye defects, hearing loss, and impaired growth, have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth.

Pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and practice safe sex during your trip.

For more information about pregnancy and Zika, visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/.

Practice Safe Sex

Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika from sex. To be effective, condoms must be used correctly from start to finish, every time during vaginal, and oral sex. A man can pass Zika to his partners even if he does not have symptoms at the time, or if his symptoms have gone away. Not having sex can eliminate the risk of getting Zika from sex.

  • Men with pregnant partners should use condoms every time during sex or not have sex during the pregnancy.
  • All pregnant women with male sex partners who live in or have traveled to an area with Zika should use condoms or not have sex during their pregnancy, even if their partners do not have Zika symptoms, or if their symptoms have gone away.
  • All men who live in or have traveled to an area with Zika should consider using condoms to protect their sex partners.

For more information about Zika and sexual transmission, visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika/transmission/sexual-transmission.html.

Zika Testing for Pregnant Women

  • All pregnant women who have visited areas with Zika should receive routine prenatal care, including an ultrasound at 18–20 weeks.
  • Pregnant women who have symptoms of Zika (fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes) and have visited areas with Zika should be tested as soon as symptoms start.
  • Pregnant women who do not have symptoms and have visited an area with Zika can be tested 2–12 weeks after travel.

Pregnant women with possible exposure to Zika virus from sex should be tested if either they or their male partners develop symptoms of Zika.

Discuss Pregnancy Planning with Healthcare Provider

Women and their partners should discuss pregnancy planning with a trusted doctor or healthcare provider. Women who want to get pregnant should talk with their healthcare provider about their goals for having children. They should also talk with their healthcare provider about the potential risk of Zika virus infection during pregnancy as well as their male partner’s potential exposures to Zika virus. As part of counseling with healthcare providers, some women and their partners living in areas with active Zika virus transmission might decide to delay pregnancy.  CDC has guidance to help doctors counsel women who live in an area with Zika who want to get pregnant. The recommended times to wait before trying to get pregnant, based on whether either partner has had symptoms, are described below:

How Long to Wait Before Trying to Have a Baby When Living in an Area with Zika Transmission
Women Men
   Zika symptoms At least 8 weeks after symptoms start At least 6 months after symptoms start
  No Zika symptoms Talk with doctor or healthcare provider Talk with doctor or healthcare provider

Women who do not want to get pregnant should talk with their doctor or healthcare provider about ways to prevent unintended pregnancy, including birth control methods. Women should consider safety, effectiveness, availability, and acceptability when choosing a birth control method.

If You or Your Partner Becomes Pregnant, Talk with Your Doctor

  • You are at risk of getting Zika throughout your pregnancy. For this reason, CDC recommends testing at the first prenatal visit and a second test in the second trimester.
  • If you have symptoms of Zika (fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes) at any time during your pregnancy, you should be tested for Zika. A healthcare provider may also test for similar diseases, like dengue or chikungunya.
  • CDC has guidance to help doctors decide what tests are needed for pregnant women who may have been exposed to Zika.

For More Information, go to www.cdc.gov and search Zika Virus.

All Countries & Territories with Active Zika Virus Transmission

As of July 26, 2016zikamap

Americas
  • Anguilla
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Bonaire
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Commonwealth of
    Puerto Rico, US territory
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • French Guiana
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saba
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Sint Maarten
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Venezuela

 

Oceania/Pacific Islands
  • American Samoa
  • Fiji
  • Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia
  • Marshall Islands
  • New Caledonia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Tonga

 

Africa
  • Cape Verde

For more information about how Sentry’s proven vaccine management system can protect your vaccine throughout the global supply chain, contact Sentry via email or by phone at 1-866-757-7400.

Content source:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD)