DNA-Based Rabies Vaccine May Soon Be Tested on Humans in India
Agence France Presse;
India's chief of the department of Virology at the National Institutes of Mental Health and Sciences (NIMHANS), S.N. Madhusudanan, says researchers will begin human trials on a DNA-based rabies vaccine following successful animal experiments. Rabies causes over 30,000 deaths in India every year--mostly among children less than 15 years old who are bitten by one of the thousands of stray, sick dogs on the streets. The DNA vaccine contains a particular protein-inducing protection against the virus that is attached to the animal or human DNA and gets integrated to the system where it begins producing antibodies for the remainder of that person's lifetime. V. Ravi, a microbiology professor at NIMHANS, says the animal studies are to determine whether or not the DNA induces mutation, and that it will take at least another decade before the vaccine will be commercially available.