National Institutes of Health (NIH) division the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has initiated a Phase I clinical trial of vaccine AGS-v to prevent a range of mosquito-transmitted diseases such as the Zika virus, malaria, West Nile fever and dengue fever.
Developed by UK-based pharmaceutical firm SEEK, AGS-v is an investigational vaccine designed to prevent the disease, as well as block the ability of mosquitoes to transmit such infections.
The vaccine is developed to trigger an immune response to mosquito saliva, instead of targeting a specific virus or parasite carried by mosquitoes.
It consists of four synthetic proteins from mosquito salivary glands designed to produce antibodies and generate a modified allergic response to prevent infection.
The randomised Phase I trial is expected to enrol approximately 60 healthy adults between 18 and 50 years of age in three vaccine regimens, and will evaluate the safety and ability of the test vaccine to generate an immune response.
Approximately 21 days after the vaccination schedule completion, the participants will undergo a controlled exposure to biting mosquitoes without any viruses or parasites.
Analysis of the blood samples and a physical examination will be carried out after the vaccinations and the exposure in order to measure levels of antibodies induced by vaccination and any changes caused after the exposure.
Investigators will also assess the mosquitoes after the feeding for changes in their behaviour or lifecycle that would help them determine the ability of the vaccine to hinder disease transmission.
The trial is being conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by next year.