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基孔肯雅病疫苗临床一期初见成效

最近一段时间,似乎全世界的注意力都集中在非洲大陆上那场严重的埃博拉疫情.然而在太平洋和加勒比海地区,一场基孔肯雅病疫情也正在悄然来袭。基孔肯雅病是由一种名为基孔肯雅病毒的微生物引起的,它会导致患者持续高烧,其临床症状类似于登革热。这种疾病主要是靠蚊虫叮咬传播。根据美国疾控中心(CDC)统计,截止到8月12日左右,美国已经有584例基孔肯雅病病例。而目前市场上尚没有这种疾病的有效疫苗和抗病毒药物。

不过最近科学家表示,基孔肯雅疫苗已经进入临床一期研究,初步研究显示这种疫苗已经对参与研究的25名成年志愿者表现出抗体作用。研究人员分别在第一天、第四周、第二十周对患者进行疫苗免疫,整个实验分为三个剂量组。结果显示当第三次免疫完成后,所有接受免疫的患者体内抗体含量都达到了很高水平。

看到这里,读者千万不要因为基孔肯雅这么”非主流”的名字而轻视它,事实上早在今年五月份,美国CDC的科学家就曾经警告说,埃博拉等病毒虽然毒性猛烈,但是在美国肆虐的可能性并不大;真正需要提高警惕的恰恰是基孔肯雅病这类传染病。自从2013年10月美国首次爆发基孔肯雅病疫情后,美国境内已经有超过57万确诊和疑似基孔肯雅病病例。

详细英文报道:

Following recent outbreaks in the Pacific and Caribbean, chikungunya virus has made its way to the U.S.–and drug developers have taken note of its continued spread.

Scientists report today in The Lancet that an experimental vaccine to prevent the mosquito-borne illness elicited neutralizing antibodies in all 25 adult volunteers in a Phase I clinical trial conducted at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Chikungunya virus disease, which causes a fever similar to dengue, first emerged in the U.S. in July. As of Aug. 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has documented a total of 584 cases of chikungunya virus disease in the U.S. No approved vaccines or antiviral treatments are currently available for the disease.

Trial participants received one of three different doses of the vaccine–an initial jab, a second one at four weeks and a third one at 20 weeks after the initial injection. Researchers detected neutralizing antibodies in a majority of the 24 individuals after the first shot. After all three jabs, all dose groups had developed high levels of antibodies.

Back in May at the American Society for Microbiology general meeting, Lyle Peterson, director of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said that while Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Ebola don’t pose a threat to Americans, it’s likely that chikungunya has not yet run its course.

Petersen said the virus has been “taking off by leaps and bounds” since it first emerged in October 2013 in the Caribbean island of St. Martin. More than 570,000 confirmed or suspected cases had been reported throughout the Americas, according to the NIH.

Themis Bioscience and Inviragen are also working on vaccines against the dangerous disease, and Inovio ($INO) is developing a monoclonal antibody to target the virus.

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