US institute develops vaccine from mosquito spit that could prevent next epidemic

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jun 12, 2020, 11:18 AM IST

In this representative image, a mosquito can be seen on a human being Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

The Lancet published the results of the first-ever clinical trial of a mosquito spit study in humans

At a time when countries across the globe are pushing their efforts to find a vaccine to treat novel coronavirus, an institute in US is experimenting with the saliva of mosquitoes to build a vaccine that can help in protecting against all the pathogens that insects transmit into humans. 

The study led by Jessica Manning and conducted by US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases focuses on saliva protein of mosquitoes to build a universal vaccine that can resist malaria, dengue, chikungunya, Zika, West Nile, Mayaro viruses, yellow fever, and any other related disease that may emerge. 

The Lancet, on Thursday, published the results of the first-ever clinical trial of a mosquito spit study in humans.

It said that the vaccine was safe and activated antibody and cellular responses.

In the phase 1 trial of the vaccine, 49 health people were chosen and were randomly assigned to receive one of two versions of the vaccine or a placebo. 

After a few weeks, mosquitoes were placed on the arms of the participants where their immune response to the mosquito saliva protein was seen. 

However, pathogens were not involved in this trial. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Malaria alone is responsible for deaths of over 400,000 people each year. 

Underdeveloped and developing nations generally contribute to deaths from this disease.

The coronavirus outbreak has brought focus on the research and vaccines of infectious disease, and one of the main concerns are pathogens spread by mosquitoes.