Zika Virus Vaccine: Progress and Challenges


The explosive emergence of Zika virus has inspired a global effort to develop vaccines. Zika virus, which is a flavivirus primarily transmitted by mosquitoes, can cause devastating congenital syndrome in fetuses of pregnant women, including microcephaly, craniofacial disproportion, spasticity, ocular abnormalities, and miscarriage. In adults, Zika infection has been linked to the autoimmune disorder Guillain-BarreĀ“ syndrome. Thus, despite the current waning in newly reported Zika infections, an efficacious vaccine is urgently needed to help limit the emergence of another detrimental epidemic. Here we summarize the current status of the Zika vaccine pipeline and highlight the challenges for clinical efficacy trials.


We thank all members of the P.-Y.S. lab and the collaborators for their hard work and support. The P.-Y.S. lab was supported by a University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) startup award, University of Texas STARs Award, UTMB Technology Commercialization Program Award, CDC grant for the Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases, Pan American Health Organization grant SCON2016-01353, the Kleberg Foundation Award, UTMB CTSA UL1TR-001439, and NIH grant AI127744.

Chao Shan,1,2,3 Xuping Xie,1,2,3 and Pei-Yong Shi1,2,3, *

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA

2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA

3Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA

*Correspondence: peshi@utmb.edu