A pre-clinical evaluation of an innovative DNA-based vaccination regimen to protect women of childbearing age against Zika virus during sexual transmission
Dr Danushka Wijesundara
The University of Adelaide
Since the recent Brazilian outbreak, Zika virus is recognized to cause severe damage to developing fetuses in pregnant women leading to children born with partially collapsed skulls, decreased brain tissue, damaged eyes and restricted body movements. It is now recognized that sexual transmission is a significant driver of the Zika virus epidemic, but there is no vaccine or medicine to eliminate the virus in women shortly after sexual transmission. Thus, this project will develop a cost-effective vaccine which can evoke a frontline defence capable of eliminating Zika virus shortly after its exposure in the vagina.