A Saskatoon facility has secured funding for research into the Zika virus and how it causes disease, and to also test new drugs and vaccines for prevention.
The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization - International Vaccine Centre, otherwise known as VIDO InterVac will receive $700,000 for the 3 year project, with funding from Innovation Saskatchewan, Genome Prairie, the Public Health Agency of Canada and VIDO-Intervac. Zika virus has been in the news in the last year, linked to incomplete brain development and small heads in babies born to infected mothers. It is primarily spread by mosquitoes and can also be sexually transmitted. At this point, there is no vaccine or therapy available to combat the infection. VIDO-Intervac was the first place in the world to develop a swine model for the study of Zika virus infection.