A Step Closer to Zika Vaccine

A Step Closer to Zika VaccineA Step Closer to Zika Vaccine

Zika, the mosquito-borne virus linked to miscarriage and severe microcephaly in the fetuses of infected women, just lost a little bit of its edge to researchers. On Thursday, a Purdue University team published the virus’s structure for the first time, which has made it possible for scientists to determine the unique properties that make Zika so dangerous, and how those abilities might be knocked out with vaccines and treatments, reports The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) hopes to have a vaccine in efficacy trials by early 2017, and expects “a lot of active infections” will be around at that time. Understanding the structure of Zika will certainly help make more effective vaccines, but there are months, and maybe years, of hard work ahead. “I think, with this, we’ll be able to make a Zika vaccine,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID. “But you never say never, and you never say always.”