Researchers in Oklahoma are taking on the Zika Virus. Good timing, too, since we are heading into mosquito season and concern is growing about the virus.
Federal funding has allowed Oklahoma to become an international player in the fight against the Zika Virus. A group of researchers at the OU Health Sciences Center is working on a vaccine to stop Zika.
Scientists have successfully tested a vaccine for West Nile and hope the same technology will prove effective against the Zika Virus. Researchers say their goal is to develop a vaccine that will tell the immune system to destroy Zika without harming healthy tissues.
"The beauty of your immune system is it has tremendous specificity. It can specify, I'd like to eliminate x without touching y and z, any healthy parts of the body," said Dr. William Hildebrand, OU Medicine Immunology.
Given past success with West Nile, the OU team is confident they'll be able to succeed against Zika.