Vaccine Mediated Protection Against Zika Virus-Induced Congenital Disease

Justin M. Richner, Brett W. Jagger, Chao Shan, Camila R. Fontes, Kimberly A. Dowd, Bin Cao, Sunny Himansu, Elizabeth A. Caine, Bruno T.D. Nunes, Daniele B.A. Medeiros, Antonio E. Muruato, Bryant M. Foreman, Huanle Luo, Tian Wang, Alan D. Barrett, Scott C. Weaver, Pedro F.C. Vasconcelos, Shannan L. Rossi, Giuseppe Ciaramella, Indira U. MysorekarTheodore C. Pierson, Pei Yong Shi, Michael S. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


The emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) and its association with congenital malformations has prompted the rapid development of vaccines. Although efficacy with multiple viral vaccine platforms has been established in animals, no study has addressed protection during pregnancy. We tested in mice two vaccine platforms, a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated modified mRNA vaccine encoding ZIKV prM and E genes and a live-attenuated ZIKV strain encoding an NS1 protein without glycosylation, for their ability to protect against transmission to the fetus. Vaccinated dams challenged with a heterologous ZIKV strain at embryo day 6 (E6) and evaluated at E13 showed markedly diminished levels of viral RNA in maternal, placental, and fetal tissues, which resulted in protection against placental damage and fetal demise. As modified mRNA and live-attenuated vaccine platforms can restrict in utero transmission of ZIKV in mice, their further development in humans to prevent congenital ZIKV syndrome is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-283.e12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 13 2017


  • Vaccine
  • antibody
  • fetus
  • flavivirus
  • immunity
  • microcephaly
  • pregnancy
  • transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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