Researchers To Test DNA-Based Zika Vaccine On Volunteers

From Carol Adl:

Researchers in Quebec have been given the go-ahead by officials with Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start testing a controversial zika vaccine designed to protect against the mosquito borne virus allegedly responsible for the birth defect, microcephaly.

Forty healthy volunteers from Quebec City, Miami and Philadelphia have been recruited to act as guinea pigs for the DNA-based vaccine.

Natural News reports:

What are DNA vaccines?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control defines DNA vaccines as “purified plasmid preparations containing one or more DNA sequences capable of inducing and/or promoting an immune response against a pathogen.”

Health practitioners often prefer these vaccines because they are believed to be more stable, have a minimized risk of accidental infection by the pathogen, and require no refrigeration, according to Harvard College Global Health Review.

“These features are appealing to practitioners in the developing world, burdened with disease-susceptible populations and lack of proper infrastructure for maintaining traditional vaccines.”

The scientific community first became interested in DNA vaccines in the early 1990s, “when it was reported that plasmid DNA, delivered into the skin or muscle, induced antibody responses to viral and nonviral antigens,” reports the medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

However, the safety of such vaccines remains uncertain. Past research suggests that DNA vaccines when injected may cause “insertional mutagenesis,” meaning mutations may result due to the insertion of new genetic material into a normal gene.

Research suggests DNA vaccines could increase cancer risk

“The possibility of insertional mutagenesis is a concern that needs to be more rigorously tested,” wrote researchers in a report entitled The Emerging Role of DNA Vaccines.

“While there is no evidence that the introduced DNA integrates into the host genome, if it were to occur, it would raise the specter of carcinogenesis; oncongenes may be turned on or tumor suppressor genes inhibited.

“What if DNA …

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