Can Dengue Fever Be Prevented Through Vaccination?

Can Dengue Fever Be Prevented Through Vaccination?

Dengue Fever Is Common In Unhygienic Areas Where Mosquitoes Breed

Dengue or bone breaking fever is due to bite of an infected aedes mosquito
Dengue or bone breaking fever is due to bite of an infected aedes mosquito | Source

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Vaccine May Become a Reality Soon

Dengue Fever Can Reduce Blood Platelets and Bring Death

Is it possible to prevent the dreaded dengue fever through vaccination? Medical research has been going on in this realm for some time and things are reaching a positive conclusion now thanks to the French company Sanofi which acquired the Indian vaccine company Shantha Biotech in 2010. The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) has allowed Sanofi Pasteur India Private Ltd to import tetravalent dengue vaccine. Sanofi is anticipating that the vaccine may be ready for use by 2015. GEAC works under the Ministry of Environment & Forests. Now Sanofi Pasteur will import the dengue vaccine for phase-2 clinical trials from the parent French company which will supply it from Lyon in France. The vaccine is called as CYD-dengue vaccine in medical parlance. But it is popularly called world over as tetravalent dengue vaccine. Dengue is a viral fever and is spread through mosquitoes. More than 20000 people die from dengue fever every year. First the dreaded fever starts looking similar to influenza fever. It slowly and steadily decreases the blood platelets. Blood platelets help in blood clotting. If left unattended, it can lead to death due to low blood platelets.

Dengue Fever Is Common In Unhygienic Areas Where Mosquitoes Breed

Dengue fever is quite common in unhygienic areas where mosquitoes are left to breed freely. It affects people in underdeveloped countries of Asian and African continents. More than fifty per cent of the world’s population face threat from this disease. Now Sanofi is trying its level best to discover a vaccine to prevent this disease. It is working jointly with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative. The latter has been receiving fund assistance from Bill Gates Foundation. If Sanofi’s initiative is successful, it will be a boon for many poor people in the world and can prevent many deaths.

Phase-2 Clinical Trials Will Test Immunogenicity

The proposed phase-2 clinical trials will test the immunogenicity of the vaccine. Immunogenicity means the capacity of the vaccine to create an immune response and also safe handling of the person who is to be vaccinated. The clinical trials will test the response of adults who are in good health and whose age group is in the range of 18 to 45.

Vaccine May Become a Reality Soon

In its last meeting in September 2011, GEAC had postponed approval of the vaccine import as it did not receive any expert comment on the issue. Subsequently Drugs Controller General of India recommended for the import of the vaccine and conducting of the phase-2 clinical trials in India. Sanofi has 13000 employees in its payrolls. It has a dozen R&D centres and production plants across the world. In India it has its facility in Hyderabad, the pharmaceutical capital of India. Considering the technological edge of the company and its commitment, one hopes that a vaccine to prevent dengue fever is not far off from now.

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