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Press Release

Zika Virus Mouse Pregnancy Model Now Available at IIT Research Institute (IITRI) for Preclinical Vaccine and Antiviral Studies

IIT Research Institute (IITRI)
Posted on: 09 Aug 17

CHICAGO, Aug. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IIT Research Institute (IITRI) now offers a Zika virus (ZIKV) mouse pregnancy model to evaluate the ability of experimental vaccines or antivirals to prevent viral transmission to the fetus. This mouse model was recently used to demonstrate the ability of two experimental ZIKV vaccines to significantly diminish the transmission of the Zika virus to the developing fetus, and to protect against associated placental damage and fetal demise (Richner et al. Cell 2017). The mouse model described in the publication is now available at IITRI, with first author Justin Richner, PhD, directing all Zika transmission studies.

IITRI is the only contract research organization (CRO) to offer this mouse model for Zika virus transmission for testing the effectiveness of vaccines in development. Protection against maternal-fetal viral transmission is critical to combat the ongoing Zika epidemic, since the recent outbreak of mosquito-borne ZIKV infections across the Americas has been accompanied by associated fetal congenital microcephaly and other serious developmental problems. Although several vaccines to prevent Zika viral infection are being evaluated in early phase human clinical trials, vaccine candidates have not routinely been tested in pregnancy models.

According to Robert Baker, PhD, Manager of the Microbiology and Molecular Biology Division at IITRI, "The availability of the Zika mouse pregnancy model at IITRI now allows us to look at the prevention of viral transmission to the fetus by vaccines and antivirals in preclinical viral challenge studies. This is significant since in humans, there are potentially devastating consequences of fetal microcephaly from maternal viral infection. The addition of this new ZIKV mouse model expands our portfolio of ZIKV animal models available to test new countermeasures against the spread of the Zika virus"

To learn more about IITRI's Zika mouse pregnancy model, click here.

About IITRI: IITRI ( is a preclinical CRO with a long history of providing preclinical efficacy, safety, and GLP toxicology services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, biodefense, consumer products and chemical industries as well as the US Government. IITRI offers a wide range of services to support preclinical drug development of small molecules, vaccines, and biologics, including full IND enabling programs.

Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 09/08/2017

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