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Human clinical trial of NIH-developed dengue vaccine begins
Date:8/9/2010

After more than a decade of development at the National Institutes of Health, a vaccine to prevent infection by the mosquito-borne dengue virus has begun human clinical testing. The vaccine was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and is undergoing clinical study at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

About 2.5 billion people in more than 100 countries worldwide live in areas where they are at risk of dengue infection. "This is an important milestone for NIAID's intramural scientists in the development of a model dengue vaccine, which could potentially have a major impact in preventing dengue," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "With increasing infection rates and disease severity around the world and the discovery of dengue in parts of Florida, finding a way to prevent dengue infection is an important priority."

Dr. Fauci is co-author of a 2008 commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association that raised awareness of dengue as an emerging infectious disease.

Dengue fever is caused by any of four related viruses DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4 which are transmitted to humans by Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue virus is prevalent in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and each year infects about 50 million to100 million people. It accounts for 25,000 deaths annually, most of them in children.

Most people infected with dengue virus experience no symptoms at all or only a mild fever. Others develop flu-like symptoms, headache, and joint and muscle pain. A smaller portion of those infected experience the more severe dengue hemorrhagic fever/shock syndrome (DHF/DSS), which can cause high fever, pain, bleeding, a drop in blood pressure, and, in some cases, coma or death.

There is no vaccine to prevent dengue infection or drug treatment for those who become infected. Current treatment recommendation
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Contact: Nalini Padmanabhan
padmanabhannm@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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