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Dengue Vaccine Promises Reduction in Disease Burden

Dengue Vaccine Promises Reduction in Disease Burden

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  • Dengue vaccine CYD-TDV (Dengvaxia) vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur offers hope of protection against the dreaded disease.
  • A study that assessed the efficacy of the vaccine found that in high risk areas, the burden of disease was lowered by 6 to 25%.
  • In Low risk areas it lead to increased hospitalization due to dengue.

A new dengue vaccine CYD-TDV (Dengvaxia) raises hope for better protection against the mosquito borne disease, reducing the burden of the disease as well as lowering medical costs in dengue prone areas.

WHO Recommends Dengue Vaccine only for High Prone Areas

An international consortium of dengue experts along with Stefan Flasche from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK carried out a study to understand the effectiveness of the vaccine in lowering the burden of disease as well as price efficiency.


Dynamic models that were based on the vaccine trials as well as data on vaccinations were utilized by the researchers to identify the impact of the vaccine and its cost effectiveness in a variety of conditions.

Moderate to High Risk Areas for Dengue Transmission - These are areas where at least 50% of the children get infected with the disease. A 3 dose vaccination schedule on at least 80% of 9 year old children would
  • Result in lowering disease burden between 6 to 25%
  • Cost effectiveness would be possible if the vaccines are priced competitively
Uncommon Areas - Low Risk for Dengue Infections - Vaccinations carried out in areas where there is low risk of dengue transmission was found to be associated with an increased risk of hospitalization due to dengue.

These findings led the WHO to recommend the use of this vaccine in areas where there is a high risk of dengue disease transmission.

When asked about the significance of the study, the authors said "Our results can guide countries on the general suitability of Dengvaxia introduction; however, local factors related to treatment costs, intensity of dengue transmission and age groups particularly exposed to dengue will need to be considered."


Dengue is a mosquito borne virus that is prevalent in tropical areas. It is caused by dengue virus 1 to 4. Dengue fever is treated symptomatically and there is no known cure or protection from the virus. Prevention is associated with controlling the mosquito population, rather than the virus.
  • Dengue fever is associated with high body temperature and bone pain, this is why it is also called' breakbone fever'
  • 400 million people are affected every year
  • Risk of exposure in 40% of the world population

CYD-TDV (Dengvaxia)

The vaccine was developed by Sanofi Pasteur and registered in December 2015. It has a live and recombinant vaccine which has undergone the initial trials and will soon be available for use, of course, the WHO recommendations need to be adhered to.

Developing a Vaccine for Dengue

There are other vaccines that are being trialed for dengue which include live attenuated vaccines and DNA recombinant vaccines. There are 4 strains of virus that are found to cause dengue. An infection with a particular strain of the virus provides immunity against repeat infection of the same strain of virus. When re-infection is caused due to another strain, there is no immunity that is generated. This highlights the immunity associated complication in dengue. A vaccine that is developed, therefore, should be tetravalent and offer protection against all 4 strains of the virus.

The dengue vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur will offer protection against the dreaded infection. The efficiency and cost effectiveness need to be closely monitored to endure that this vaccine offers the best defense.

Reference :
  1. Dengue vaccine research - (http://www.who.int/immunization/research/development/dengue_vaccines/en/)
Source: Medindia

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