The search for vaccines against the Zika virus continues, along with the quest to find therapeutics for those affected. Scientists from the US Food and Drug Administration have developed a new neonatal mouse model, which it is hoped will help to clarify the causes and effects of the virus.

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The spread of the Zika virus

The rapid spread of the virus has meant that there is an urgent need to understand the pathology of the disease. Increased rates of congenital syndromes in babies, such as microcephaly, and neurological problems affecting adults, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, have affected people in many countries, including Texas and Florida in the US.

According to ABC News, four babies with Zika-related birth defects have been born in New York City since the first case in July.

The new mouse study

There are many unanswered questions about the Zika virus, which the new model hopes to research. The scientists are concentrating on how the virus replicates, how it spreads in the body, and the long-term impact it can have. Neurological symptoms have been found to develop in neonatal mice 12 days after infection. The fact that they eventually recover means that the long-term effects can also be studied.

Previous research

Many research projects have been undertaken in the fight against the Zika virus. The effectiveness of technologies to reduce viruses and other disease causing microorganisms in blood has been studied and the impact that red blood cell storage has on virus infection has been evaluated. In cases such as the Zika virus epidemic, the question of how long does it take to get a FDA 510k approved is very important and the FDA has stated that it considers the public health response to it a top priority.

Researchers into solutions to tackle the Zika virus and other infectious disease threats can minimise the time taken to get a FDA 510k approved by going through a company such as http://www.fdathirdpartyreview.com/.

Developing the tools necessary to combat the Zika virus and making these widely available is ongoing and the regulatory science research programme of the FDA is an essential part of the response to the disease. This includes the development of diagnostic tests and the evaluation of vaccines and therapeutics in the early stages of development.