Intranasal vaccine protects mice against West Nile infection
Researchers from Duke University have developed a nasal vaccine formulation that provides protective immunity against West Nile virus (WNV) infection in mice after only 2 doses. They present their findings at the 2014 American Society for Microbiology Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting.
“Our results demonstrate that a needle-free WNV vaccine using only 2 vaccine doses is able to induce protective anti-WNV immunity,” says Herman Staats, a researcher on the study. “A nasally-administered, needle-free vaccine able to rapidly induce protective immunity with minimal vaccine doses per subject would be beneficial for use during WNV outbreaks.”
WNV is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Though the virus has been known to be a cause of severe human disease for decades in parts of the Middle-East, Africa, Europe and Australia, it only first appeared in the United States in 1999.
It has since spread across the United States and Canada, causing a reported 2,374 cases of infection in people, including 114 deaths in the year 2013 alone, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While an injectable vaccine based on killed virus is available for horses, there is no vaccine available for humans.