Dengue has grown more prevalent since the 1950s, with 50 million cases reported annually. This includes 500,000 of dengue hemorrhagic fever, which the World Health Organization estimates kills in more than 20% of cases. Data analysis of a dengue vaccine candidate by French drugmaker Sanofi revealed that it protects more than three quarters of participants.
The data analyzed referred to three clinical trials conducted in Asian-Pacific and Latin American tropical and subptropical regions. It comprised of 10,275 participants, 20,869 participants and 4,002 participants respectively. The experimental drug allowed 80.8% of children aged nine and older to avoid hospitalization. For younger children, those less than nine years old, vaccine efficacy was 56.1%. For severe dengue, the vaccine protected 93.2% of participants aged nine to 16, and 44.5% of the younger set. The research team also noted an unexplained increase in hospitalizations for dengue fever during the third year of vaccination for the younger children.
The study said, "This trend should be carefully monitored during long-term follow-up. But overall, the researchers noted a reduction in dengue disease in the efficacy surveillance phase among children who received the vaccine in regions where the disease is endemic."
Sanofi said, "The dengue vaccine candidate has the potential to significantly reduce disease burden in endemic countries."
The study is published in New England Journal of Medicine.