RIO DE JANEIRO, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Two experimental vaccines being developed with the help of Brazilian scientists have been shown to protect the fetus of mice from being infected by the Zika virus, according to an article published on Thursday.
Scientists from Brazil's Evandro Chagas Institute, in the northern state of Para, have participated in the research, whose results were published by the specialized magazine "Cell."
Since late 2015, Brazil has been grappling with a Zika epidemic, now waning, that was linked to birth defects in infants born to mothers bitten by the carrier mosquito during pregnancy.
Cases of microcephaly, or babies born with abnormally small heads, rose significantly in Brazil following the spread of the mosquito-borne virus.
The vaccine research also involves scientific teams from the University of Washington, the University of Texas and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The vaccines appear to effectively block the transmission of the Zika virus to the fetus, the magazine said.