Brian Owens is a freelance science writer based in New Brunswick, Canada.
Two years after the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, researchers have made good progress in developing vaccines against the disease, with some candidates now in phase II trials. However, the brief nature of the outbreak is making wide-scale testing of the new vaccines difficult and some research programmes have already been curtailed.
Rhinovirus, the pathogen behind the common cold, can cause severe, acute lung disease in children and those with underlying respiratory conditions. Since the 1970s, vaccine development has been hindered by the presence of numerous virus serotypes and the lack of a good animal model to test vaccine candidates. However, several different research groups are now making good progress on rhinovirus vaccines, using a variety of different techniques.
New drugs that could eventually replace or reduce the use of antibiotics in animals are in development to help slow the rise of antibiotic resistance.
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