A new solution was successfully developed to protect people from Dengue, which is an extremely painful illness involving a kind of virus carried by mosquito, also a close cousin of Zika virus. It is believed that this new vaccine is likely to be able to protect people against at least 1 type of the virus.
The USA’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases conducted a clinical experiment with 41 healthy volunteers divided into 2 groups: 21 participants receiving a new vaccine called TV003 and other 20 people taking a placebo.
Early tests suggested the vaccine triggered a robust immune response for 3 out of 4 of the strains. But, it first looked as if the vaccine might be less effective at producing antibodies for the “dengue 2” strain.
Dengue is odd and there are four strains. If a person is infected with a second strain, he or she can become severely ill and develop dengue hemorrhagic fever, an Ebola-like illness that kills 25,000 people a year.
The result satisfied researchers since after 6 months, all 21 volunteers vaccinated were successfully protected against the infection while all 20 people with a placebo returned to be infected with a mild version of dengue-2 strain.
It is recorded that no volunteer receiving the vaccine experienced rashes or reduced white blood cell counts, or showed any signs of virus in their blood. All subjects successfully developed antibodies against dengue.
“We were able to get 100 percent efficacy, which we were really thrilled about,” said Dr. Anna Durbin of Johns Hopkins University, who helped test the vaccine.
A modified version of the vaccine is being developed in an attempt to treat the related Zika virus.
TV003, which has been being worked on for 15 years, is a live attenuated vaccine. In other words, it is created by making a greatly weakened version of the virus it is designed to fight, similar to measles, mumps, and flu vaccines. The scientists particularly created a combination of four recombinant dengue vaccine candidate viruses, designed to combat all four major dengue virus serotypes. It is one of the contributions to the success of the new invented vaccine.
Dengue virus is related to Zika since both of therm are basically spread by the Aedes mosquito. Dengue is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, consisting of large parts of Africa, Central and South America, Asia and the Caribbean.
Dengue virus strikes around 390 million people all over the world per year. It is similar to Zika when causing a mild illness and people may not even notice it.
Although another dengue vaccine recently became available in Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines and El Salvador, it may not be appropriate to use in countries such as the United States.
If further research can bear out its effectiveness, the new vaccine could eventually represent a big advance in controlling the most common mosquito-transmitted virus worldwide.