Chikungunya test vaccine shows promise

The trial drug is made with nanoparticles that resemble a West African strain of the virus, which causes high fever and arthralgia, said a study in The Lancet medical journal on Friday.

These virus-like particles (VLPs) are meant to mimic the immune-stimulating effects of the actual virus particles, but cannot cause disease as they contain no viral DNA.

In tests on rhesus macaques, the vaccine provided protection from infection, and its first human tests have now also yielded positive results.

"All injections were well tolerated, with no serious adverse events reported," wrote the authors of the study conducted in 25 healthy human volunteers from the United States, aged 18–50.

"Neutralising antibodies were detected in all dose groups after the second vaccination" and even the lowest doses were effective.

"Eleven months after vaccination, antibody levels were comparable to those seen in people who had recovered