Zika virus Research at the BPRC
29 August 2016
The BPRC contributes to research in vaccine development and new medicines against Zika virus
Zika virus infection in humans usually results in mild flu-like symptoms, but during the recent large outbreak in Central and South America Zika virus infections resulted in several cases in an acute and severe infection of the central nervous system resulting in temporary paralysis (Guillian-Barré syndrome, GBS). Moreover, Zika virus infections of women during pregnancy can cause abnormalities of the central nervous system of the baby, such as microcephaly resulting in severe disabilities. Because the Zika virus epidemic is still increasing, en because of the relation between Zika virus infection and GBS and microcephaly, new drugs or vaccines are urgently needed.
The BPRC is a scientific institute committed to research contributing to the development of new medicines and vaccines against serious human diseases. The BPRC uses non-human primate models to reach this objective, but only if alternatives are not available. In the framework of this objective, the BPRC developes a Zika virus infection model in rhesus monkeys that will be used in vaccine research and the development of medicines against Zika virus.