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International Experts Outline Public Health Initiatives for Future Dengue Vaccine Introduction and Control of Dengue Fever
Date:11/8/2011

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dengue v2V, a group of international experts in dengue, public health and vaccinology held its meeting in Puerto Rico on 5–6 November 2011 to continue to outline steps for the introduction of a dengue vaccine once licensed. Dengue is a threat to almost half of the world's population, and a public health priority in Latin America and Asia where epidemics are common.(1)

"Puerto Rico was a relevant venue for this meeting given its location and experience with both endemic and epidemic dengue activity," said Dr Harold Margolis, Chief of the Dengue Branch at the Centers for Disease Control, Puerto Rico and co-Chair of the meeting. "In addition to mosquito control measures, a dengue vaccine is seen as the best way to effectively control dengue."

"The well coordinated introduction of a dengue vaccine will be crucial to reducing the burden of disease, but vaccination programs are complex to implement and dengue itself presents unique challenges. It is critical that we anticipate the challenges ahead of us and start preparing now," said Associate Professor Joseph Torresi, Austin Health and University of Melbourne, Australia, and co-Chair of the meeting.

Attendees at the Dengue v2V International Meeting included dengue experts, vaccinology experts, and public health officials from Puerto Rico, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, the French Caribbean, Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States, who drew on their experiences with dengue and other vaccination programs to propose strategies for dengue vaccine introduction and evaluation of its effectiveness. Encouragingly, the most advanced vaccine candidate is in the final stages of clinical development.(2)

The meeting in Puerto Rico is part of the ongoing efforts of Dengue v2V to ensure that a dengue vaccine, once licensed, is readily available to those who need it most.

The objectives of Dengue v2V include:

  • Documenting the human and economic burden of dengue
  • Providing guidance regarding vaccine adoption strategies based on clinical, epidemiological and other technical data
  • Making recommendations regarding the introduction of a dengue vaccine for routine and catch-up immunization

The Puerto Rico meeting follows a regional meeting in Singapore in 2010 which focused on the introduction of a dengue vaccine into national immunisation programs in the Asia–Pacific region.(3)

About the Dengue v2V initiative

Dengue v2V is a scientific forum comprising international experts in dengue and public health from across North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The initiative is committed to ensuring that future dengue vaccines, once licensed, are readily introduced into the vaccination programmes of countries where dengue is a public health priority. The name, Dengue v2V, reflects its fundamental objective of supporting the transition from vaccine to vaccination, which will be key to controlling dengue globally. Dengue v2V was established in June 2009 and is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from sanofi pasteur.(4)

About dengue fever

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the dengue virus, of which there are four different serotypes. The disease is found throughout tropical and subtropical regions and is a potential threat to almost half of the world's population. Recent studies estimate that 50–100 million people are infected per year, of whom about 500,000 develop dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) – a severe form of the disease – and 22,000 die.(5) DHF is also a leading cause of hospitalization, placing tremendous pressure on strained medical resources and having a heavy economic and societal impact. Many factors have contributed to a recent dramatic rise in dengue fever cases, including increased urbanization and travel.

References

  1. WHO. Dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever, Fact sheet No.117. Available at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs117/en. Accessed 26 October 2011
  2. Guy B, Almond J, Lang J. Dengue vaccine prospects: a step forward. Lancet 2011;377:381-2
  3. Lam SK. Preparing for introduction of a dengue vaccine: Recommendations from the 1st Dengue v2V Asia-Pacific Meeting. Vaccine 2011;(in press):
  4. Lam SK. Dengue v2V – new global initiative supporting transition from vaccine to vaccination. Vaccine 2010;28:2060-1
  5. Guzman MG, Halstead SB, Artsob H, et al. Dengue: a continuing global threat. Nat Rev Microbiol 2010;8:S7-16


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