Testing a potential vaccine for the Chikungunya virus

2014

Challenge

Chikungunya virus is transmitted by mosquitos, is endemic in Africa and South and Southeast Asia, and has recently emerged in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The virus causes joint pain and fever and sufferers have reported rash, muscle pain and joint swelling. No drugs or vaccines are currently available for treatment or prevention. However, a vaccine candidate was shown to provide non-human primates with protective immunity from infection and illness.

Advance

IRP researchers led by Julie Ledgerwood, D.O., tested the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a virus-like particle (VLP) chikungunya virus vaccine in a phase 1 clinical trial in healthy adults.

Impact

The chikungunya VLP vaccine was immunogenic, safe, and well tolerated in the subjects tested—an essential initial step towards vaccine development to combat this rapidly emerging pathogen.

Publications

Chang LJ, Dowd KA, Mendoza FH, Saunders JG, Sitar S, Plummer SH, Yamshchikov G, Sarwar UN, Hu Z, Enama ME, Bailer RT, Koup RA, Schwartz RM, Akahata W, Nabel GJ, Mascola JR, Pierson TC, Graham BS, Ledgerwood JE; VRC 311 Study Team. Collaborators: Holman L, Hendel CS, Gordon I, Novik L, Costner P, Zephir K, Berkowitz N, Wilson B, Larkin B, Casazza J, Stein J, Pittman I, Vasilenko O, Mitchell J, Luongo N, Kabadi A, Artis C, Conan-Cibotti M, Kaltovich F, Schieber G, Renehan P. (2014). Safety and tolerability of chikungunya virus-like particle vaccine in healthy adults: a phase 1 dose-escalation trial. Lancet. 384(9959), 2046–52