UniKL MICET Student Conducts Research To Find Zika Vaccine

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MUAR, Sept 16 – A final year Bioprocess Engineering student Hariz Haikal Nasuha (pix) from Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Chemical and Bioengineering Technology (UniKL MICET) is in the midst of conducting a research to find an effective vaccine against the zika virus. 

The research is being conducted at Ladang Nasuha – the largest herbs and spices plantation in Asia – owned by his father, Nasuha Kasian, near here. Hariz Haikal, who is also the lead researcher at Nasuha Biotechnology & Biodiversity Sdn Bhd, said his team had begun conducting laboratory research six months ago, and had found that a mixture of some herbal essences was able to inhibit zika virus cell activities. 

He said the herbal essences are also able to kill the virus slowly. He said, however, they needed time and more funds to conduct clinical research and studies on the compatibility of the herbal mixture with the human body in the long term. As such, he said the company welcomed help in the form of grants from the government, as well as other interested parties, to work together in the scientific research to produce an effective vaccine against the zika virus. 

At the moment, Hariz Haikal said the company had managed to produce an essential oil that could be developed to produce herbal-based zika virus vaccine. In fact, he said the company had also produced a biological control technology to destroy Aedes mosquito, which is the carrier of zika and Dengue viruses. 

He said they use essential oils to produce insect repellent under the “Organic Natural Repellent” brand. In the meanwhile, he also added that it contains six types of herbs grown on our 1,295-hectare plantation in Jalan Muar-Pagoh without involving any chemicals. 

When sprayed directly at Aedes mosquitoes, said Hariz Haikal, the substance would block their breathing holes, causing the mosquitoes to die instantly. He said it is produced using green technology which causes no side effects to humans and the environment because they use organic ingredients, free of chemicals and toxins. — Bernama

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