Dengue fever is a growing global epidemic, and concern is mounting with the number of lives taken by this disease. Human trials of various vaccines have been initiated with mixed results. The first vaccine to reach clinical trials began in Mexico in December of 2015. The United States expects to enter clinical trials soon.
Dengue fever is a disease cause by one of four viruses: Den-1, Den-2, Den-3 and Den-4. Exposure to one of the viruses provides immunity to that virus but not the other three. In most cases, exposure to a second dengue virus results in serious illness and even death.
Efforts by the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) laboratory has resulted in a vaccine that shows promise in vaccinating cells to all four virus types after a single dose. Clinical trials of this candidate will begin soon in Brazil utilizing more than 17,000 participants between the ages of 2 and 59.
The vaccine TV003 was developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health and is being produced by the Butantan Institute, a producer of immunobiologic products for Brazil that is sponsoring the trial. Brazil was selected because of the possibility of a large impact on the population and the availability of an effective healthcare infrastructure.
Utilizing a contract research organization, NIAID will follow a standard trial protocol. The protocol will provide a single dose of the vaccine to two-thirds of the participants while one-third of the volunteers will receive a placebo. The study will begin in San Pablo and move on to 16 cities nationwide within the first year.
This trial is expected to last five years, following the participants, providing regular checkups in person and testing for Dengue Fever, as well as video and text communication with the participants for the entire trial period. Utilizing third party researchers like gandlscientific.com, the team hopes to have early results as soon as a few months in and will continue to follow the efficacy of the candidate for up to five years.
Prior trials of other vaccines have had mixed results, with efficacy of percent. The United States Secretary of State John Kerry told the Prime Minister of India recently that the United States is committed to finding a vaccine for dengue fever.