Scientists Clone Zika for Vaccine Race

US scientists have cloned the Zika virus – an important step towards fast-tracking a vaccine against the disease.

The man-made copy is a replica of the strain that is spreading across the Americas and has been linked to brain deformities in newborn babies.

In tests at the University of Texas, the clone could infect mosquitoes – the carrier of Zika – and cause disease in laboratory mice.

Experts say they can use this in experiments to design a good vaccine.

It is hoped a candidate will be ready for testing in the coming months.

But it could be many years before there is a safe and effective jab that can be offered to the general public.

Zika can cause serious harm to unborn babies, but it often has no visible symptoms in the mother.

Experts say a vaccine to protect expectant women, and others at high risk of infection, is one of the most effective ways we have of beating it.

Many different research groups around the world are working to make such a vaccine… Read More>>

Source: BBC News

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