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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dengue vaccine out by 2015

A Thai Disease Control officer sprays chemical to kill mosquitos spreading dengue fever
In a few years time, humanity may soon say goodbye to dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease that infects 220 million people and kills two million each year.
For decades, Thailand has been researching to develop the world's first dengue vaccine to combat the four strains of the virus that causes the fatal hemorrhagic form of the disease, The Hindu said.
Over 70 percent of dengue fever strikes in Southeast Asia region where it is endemic.
About 4,000 children in Thailand's highest incidence of dengue have begun receiving the vaccine that was jointly developed by Mahidol University and Sanofi Pasteur.
A senior clinical researcher said, "So far the vaccine seems to be very safe, with very few clinical reactions after each vaccination."
The trial is not without challenges. Because the disease affects only humans, animal testing could not be performed. The four kinds of viruses necessitate the build up of different immune response for each.
In addition, funding the vaccine development is difficult since the disease is generally found in the marginalized sector of developing countries where big pharmaceutical countries are not interested in investing in the research and development.
Barring all impediments to its commercial use, dengue vaccine will be available by 2015, Channel News Asia stated.
Details of this report here.

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