Chikungunya (320x240)
credit: CDC/ Cynthia GoldsmithThis digitally-colorized transmission electron micrograph depicts numerous Chikungunya virus particles, which are composed of a central dense core that is surrounded by a viral envelope.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine are recruiting volunteers for a vaccine trial to test the safety and immune responses to a vaccine against chikungunya virus. The study is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Chikungunya is a virus that is transmitted to humans from mosquitoes and has recently caused large outbreaks of infection in the Caribbean and much of Central and South America, as well as Mexico. Illness from chikungunya virus can be debilitating, causing muscle and joint pain and joint swelling. For a small fraction of people infected with chikungunya virus, joint swelling and pain can last longer than a few weeks, sometimes even months. Chikungunya is carried by the same mosquito that carries dengue virus and Zika virus, which partially explains why chikungunya occurs in the same places as these two diseases.

Participants will receive two injections of either low-dose or high-dose experimental vaccine or placebo. Neither the participants nor the investigators will know whether a volunteer is receiving the placebo or the vaccine. The volunteers will be assigned randomly to receive the two injections on different schedules (29, 85, or 169 days after the initial injection) in order to help the researchers determine which schedule is most effective.

Baylor is currently recruiting healthy adults between the ages of 18 to 45 years living in the Houston area who do not plan on traveling to the areas where chikungunya currently is being transmitted during the time period of the study, which will take place over the next six to nine months. 

For more information or to enroll, contact the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit at Baylor College of Medicine at 713-798-4912 and mention the CHIK vaccine trial. You can also visit https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ using the identifier NCT03028441 for more information on the study. Volunteers will be compensated for their time.

The trial is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), contract number HHSN272201300018I.