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International Vaccine Institute announces launch of Dengue Vaccine Initiative
Date:2/10/2011

SEOUL, KOREA, Feb. 10The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) today announced the launch of the Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI), in collaboration with the Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin), the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), and the World Health Organization (WHO), to support development of vaccines to control dengue fever, a widespread and expanding hemorrhagic fever that is endemic in most tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Through a $6.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DVI will accelerate the development and utilization of safe, affordable and broadly protective vaccines to combat dengue, a mosquito-borne infection which causes severe flu-like symptoms, and its potentially lethal complication dengue hemorrhagic fever, characterized by bleeding, plasma fluid leakage, and in severe cases shock and death. Each year, an estimated 2 million people with dengue hemorrhagic fever require hospitalization representing a significant burden on the fragile healthcare systems of developing and endemic nations.

"We are extremely grateful for the Gates Foundation's continued support of our critical work to promote the development of life-saving dengue vaccines and ensure their effective introduction. Dengue is an infection whose burden has increased sharply around the world," said Dr. John Clemens, Director-General of IVI. "The global dengue community is on the eve of many important breakthroughs in dengue research and development, and I believe that we'll make significant progress in controlling dengue within the decade."

An estimated 3.6 billion individuals (55% of the world's population) are at risk of contracting dengue, an infection caused by four distinct, yet closely related viruses. Recovery from one strain of dengue confers lifelong immunity against the infecting strain but increases the risk for development of hemorrhagic fever, shock, and death following infection from the other three strains.


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Contact: Eteena Tadjiogueu
eteena@sabin.org
202-265-6517
Sabin Vaccine Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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