Developing Vaccines
As Deterrents

to Zoonotic Viral Threats to Human Health, National Security, Economic Stability, and Global Food Safety



known arboviruses


produce human & domestic animal disease


million people exposed


Vacunax Inc, vaccine technology was discovered by the research team of Drs. Raquel Hernandez and Dennis T Brown at North Carolina State University and is centered around prevention of insect vectored diseases, carried primarily by biting insects (e.g. mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ticks).

Collectively, there are about 700 known arboviruses (insect viruses) of which >150 are known to produce human and domestic animal disease that causes untold illness, death, and economic hardship annually to >500 Million people worldwide. Despite the enormous economic and medical impact of these agents very few effective vaccines exist for their control.

Initial Targets

Human Virus Pathogens

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF)

DHF is the most important viral vector-borne disease and is caused by Dengue virus (DENV), which annually infects >390 million people globally. Infection by DENV produces a spectrum of clinical manifestation, from mild influenza-like illness to the more severe DHF which can lead to hypovolemic shock, internal hemorrhage, multi organ failure, encephalopathy, and death. It is estimated DENV causes >50 million cases of DHF per year globally.

Chikungunya Fever (CHIKF)

CHIKF is a recurrent infectious disease caused by the chikungunya virus (CHIKV). The main clinical symptoms are arthritis and fever. Patients may also suffer from headache, myalgia, and rash. The mortality of CHIKF is below 0.5%, lower than dengue fever, which has similar clinical symptoms. For infants under 1 year old and people over 60 years old, the mortality is significantly increased. The acute symptoms usually disappear within about 1–2 weeks, but patients may endure long-lasting joint pain and fatigue.

West Nile Fever

About 20% of people who are infected with West Nile Virus (WNV) develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with febrile illness recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Approximately 1 in 150 people develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system (encephalitis or meningitis) resulting in high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. Recovery from severe illness can take several weeks or months, while some effects to the central nervous system might be permanent. Death occurs in about 1 out of 10 people who develop severe illness.

Zika Fever

Zika virus infection causes either a mild illness with fever, rash, conjunctivitis, arthralgia, and myalgia, or it may be subclinical, and is generally self-limiting. However, it can cause post-infective neurological manifestations, particularly Guillain-Barré syndrome, and if infection occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy it can cause microcephaly or other congenital anomalies in the newborn population.

Veterinary Applications

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

The prognosis for horses diagnosed with EEE is very poor. The disease has a high mortality rate, with up to 90% of infected horses dying from the disease. Horses that do survive can have permanent brain damage. In humans, EEE can result in a systemic febrile illness or neurologic disease, including meningitis or encephalitis. Approximately 33% of all people with encephalitis due to EEEV infection die 2 to 10 days after onset of symptoms. Of those who recover, many are left with physical or mental sequelae, which can range from mild brain dysfunction to severe intellectual impairment, personality disorders, seizures, paralysis, and cranial nerve dysfunction. Many patients with severe sequelae require long-term care and die within a few years. Reduction of infection in horses reduces potential for infection in humans.

Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)

WEE in horses presents as depression, anorexia, lethargy, and fever. Neurologic signs can include tremors, convulsions, paralysis, weakness, ataxia, incoordination, and recumbency. The mortality rate in horses is 20-40%, and long-term deficits may occur in horses that recover from WEE. In man, WEE presents with flulike syndrome which can progress to meningoencephalitis, delirium, followed by drowsiness and coma. The overall mortality rate is 10%, most fatalities are infants who account for 20% to 30% of all cases. Of surviving infants, 50% have permanent mental impairment and seizures. Reduction of infection in horses reduces potential for infection in humans.