>> Researchers announcing a major step toward preventing the spread of Zika. A report published Tuesday showing that two separate experimental vaccines were 100% effective in protecting mice and that antibodies from vaccinated mice could keep other untreated ones from contracting the virus. Reuter's health correspondent, Julie Steenhuysen.>> These two vaccines which are commonly used in vaccine development and have been successfully used to develop human vaccines, may be able to be effective in the development of a Zika vaccine.
>> The findings were some of the first to be published since the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency over Zika, which has been linked to neurological disorders and can cause devastating birth defects in newborns. In a second report out Tuesday, scientists were able to infect monkeys, including pregnant ones with the virus, showing that animals can be used to study Zika.
Researchers are still trying to determine whether the virus can be sexually transmitted between the monkeys or passed to their fetuses. But the animals could still provide a useful tool for developing treatments and eventually lead to testing vaccines in humans.>> Some human trials are expected to start very soon.
In fact a company named Inovio Pharmaceuticals just got FDA approval to start human testing of a Zika vaccine. But human trials take a long time and experts caution that these results are promising, but it still may be several years before we have an effective Zika vaccine that is widely distributed.
>> According to the WHO, at least 15 companies and academic groups are rushing to develop treatments for Zika. Inovio, which will enroll 40 healthy people in it's study, will evaluate safety, tolerance, and immune response to its vaccine.