New Study On Vaccine To Help Protect Against Mosquito-borne Diseases

Scientists announced Tuesday they would begin human trials of a vaccine that protects against mosquito saliva and as a result might ward off all diseases carried by the insects. He noted that the development of this vaccine is a revolutionary and novel concept which could constitute a massive public health advance if successful. Unlike other mosquito saliva vaccines bound to combat mosquito-transmitted illness, this vaccine was specially created to trigger an immune response to the saliva of a mosquito, rather than protecting people from a particular parasite or virus carried by mosquitoes.

But instead of targeting a specific illness, this vaccine protects against the mosquito itself - its saliva, to be exact. Malaria, for instance, infected 212 million people and killed more than 438,000 in 2015, according to figures from the World Health Organization. This vaccine would fight mosquito transmitted viruses, including Zika, malaria, West Nile fever, and Dengue fever.

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to mosquito-borne diseases. 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.

The experimental vaccine is being developed by two London companies.

"The test vaccine contains four synthetic proteins from mosquito salivary glands", NIH said.

The phase-one clinical trial is expected to wrap up in 2018.

The trial will consist of 60 healthy adults having age between 18 to 50 and will divide participants into three groups.

AGS-v is made up of four synthetic proteins from salivary glands of mosquito and is created to induce antibodies in a vaccinated person to cause a modified allergic response to prevent infection.

Those in the first group will be administered AGS-v vaccine while those in the second group will get two injections of the vaccine along with an adjuvant - a mixture of oil and water that is usually added to vaccines to boost immune responses.

The second group will get two separate injections of the vaccine combined with an adjuvant 21 days apart. That will help block potential infection if a person is bitten by a disease-carrying mosquito.

"Scientists suspect that the mosquitoes who take a blood meal from ASG-v-vaccinated participants may have altered behavior that could lead to early death or a reduced ability to reproduce".

  • Joanne Flowers