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Chang Liu

Development of a universal vaccine protecting from dengue and zika viruses infection

Zika virus (ZIKV) is an arthropod-transmitted, positive-sense RNA virus. The Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic has resulted in congenital abnormalities in fetuses and neonates. Although some cross-reactive dengue virus (DENV)-specific antibodies can enhance ZIKV infection in mice, those recognizing the DENV E-dimer epitope (EDE) can neutralize ZIKV infection in cell culture. It was also found that neutralizing antibodies to EDE had therapeutic potential against ZIKV, with its ability to establish inhibitory effects against DENV, it has the potential to develop therapies that control disease caused by both viruses. In this project, our aim is to develop a soluble stable dimer version of the envelope to induce the anti-EDE response whilst reduceing the generation of less protective but infection enhancing antibodies. We hope we can generate a universal DENV/ZIKV vaccine which induce protection against both viruses.