CSU developing a potentially life-saving vaccine

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 09:20:41-05

Researchers at Colorado State University are now working to develop vaccines against the deadly encephalitis virus.

Behind the secured doors of the lab in Fort Collins, they're working on what could be the next big shot. 

"The goal here is to generate a vaccine that they can give to soldiers. The soldiers are then protected from that specific agent, in this case we're making three different vaccines for three different viruses," Dr. Dennis Pierro said.

Those vaccines would protect from encephalitis, a mosquito-borne virus that causes inflammation of the brain.

And by using new advances in biotechnology, the team at BioMARC, including CSU students, are developing a way to trick the body into protecting itself from the deadly virus without ever using the real thing. 

"We don't use the live viruses in vaccine development," Dr. Pierro added. "It is not necessary to have the viruses that would be of concern to folks."

This is part of a ten-month contract which goes up as high as the Department of Defense, that came about after the team worked on a similar study into an Ebola vaccine.

Researchers are hopeful they can have a final product to be sent out for testing by this summer.

"Yes we're working hard in a lab now but it is going to get out there and make positive changes and really do some good in the long term," Dr. Pierro said.