A Zika vaccine produced by the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Childrens Hospital prompted protective immune responses in rodents with ovarian cysts. Published in Cell Stem Cell the results of this Phase I clinical trial suggest a new approach for speeding up the diagnostic process and potentially reducing the dosage needed for immunotherapy.

This is one of the first studies reporting full-cell immune responses in mice with ovarian cysts a common cause of morbidity and infertility in children said Dr. Abhishek Panik director of Baylors Center for Precision Immunology and Immunotherapy.

Previous research has revealed that prior immune responses require a high vaccine dose to trigger an immune response. A consequence of such high-dose immune responses are autoimmune diseases such as Crohns disease and Crotons disease that the bodys immune system mistakenly attacks leading to inflammation and organ failure. To combat such autoimmune diseases Paniks research team creates an inoculation that provides partial immunity to the immune system and increases an animals circulating white blood cells.

Paniks team evaluated two previously FDA approved Zika vaccines MD-v3 (Invokana Invokamet) rV4 (Sanaria oCytoCyto) and MD-v6 (TrYVgg Trigg) in pregnant rats pregnant during their first trimester. Each volunteer was assigned to either vaccinate against Zika or placebo. Once vaccinated the mothers were confined to their homes for about eight weeks after pregnancy and then again for one month after delivery. A two-week washout period followed after which a vaccine challenge period began. This three-month repeat protocol was repeated for 14 consecutive days.