By David B. SmithThe brain is the epicenter of the immune system, but it is also the region most susceptible to the spread of a virus that has struck the Americas, including parts of Brazil and Colombia.
In Brazil, the Zika outbreak has caused more than 400,000 cases of microcephaly, a condition that leaves infants born with smaller heads and other malformations.
Some experts believe it is the most significant case of Zika that has occurred in Latin America, with a cumulative death toll of at least 1.8 million people.
For the past three months, a coalition of Brazilian scientists and scientists at universities across the country has been developing a vaccine.
The vaccine was announced Tuesday and is being tested on monkeys in laboratories.
The research was done by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the Brazilian National Institute of Medical Sciences and the Instituto de Biogeografia.
Scientists have been searching for a vaccine for years.
In the early 2000s, a vaccine developed by the team at the University of Pittsburgh was developed and licensed by the National Institutes of Health.
It has been tested on humans and monkeys, but no vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
A vaccine is designed to target a specific immune system protein that is a component of the virus that triggers the production of antibodies, or antibodies that bind to the virus and destroy it.
In this case, the vaccine targets a protein called CCR5.
The vaccine is supposed to protect the body from the virus but it also is supposed as a way to combat other infections, including those caused by other viruses.
The goal of the vaccine is to prevent babies from contracting the virus from their mothers.
Scientists at the Institutio de Biogenetica and Universidade Federal do Campinas, Brazil, conducted the study on monkeys.
A group of researchers and scientists from Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Colombia, along with colleagues from the University College London, published the findings in The Lancet Neurology journal Tuesday.
“The goal of this vaccine is not to stop the virus in the womb but to prevent it from reaching other people,” said Daniela Biasu, an assistant professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City and the study’s senior author.
In the study, the researchers used the monkey models to study the function of CCR4 and CCR7 proteins in the brain.
The researchers said that they did not detect any differences in the brains of the monkeys vaccinated with the vaccine, but they did find differences in how the immune systems of the animals responded to the vaccine.
“Our results show that the immune responses of the mice vaccinated with CCR6 were completely different than those of the vaccinated mice without CCR8,” Biasusu said.
In addition to the CCR vaccine, scientists from the Institutsa de Bioinformatia and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the University Hospital of Brasilia are developing a similar vaccine.
Scientists said they are also testing a vaccine that targets the viral protein called c-kit that was discovered in the laboratory.
The results of the study are expected to be published in a later version of the journal.