For the nearly three billion people worldwide who live at risk of dengue fever – a mosquito-transmitted disease that is a leading cause of severe illness and death in more than 100 countries – prospects for the development of the first effective dengue vaccine brightened considerably today.
Sanofi Pasteur has published data in The Lancet from the first of two large-scale Phase III studies of a vaccine designed to prevent all four types of dengue virus. The results indicate that the candidate vaccine could reduce the incidence of severe dengue (dengue hemorrhagic fever) by 70 percent to 88 percent.
The vaccine also reduced the rate of hospitalizations for severe dengue by two-thirds, a factor that could significantly relieve the stresses that periodic dengue epidemics exert on health care services in low- and middle-income countries.
While the world has made huge progress in reducing the burden of infectious disease in recent decades, dengue has so far defied every effort to bring it under control. In fact, global incidence has grown 30-fold in the past 50 years, and the geographic range of dengue has expanded from nine countries to 130. Even the United States is at risk.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to working with Sanofi Pasteur and other global partners to build on today’s exciting news by supporting the development of a safe, effective, low-cost dengue vaccine that for everyone who needs it.
To learn more about The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Strategy for Neglected Infectious Diseases, click here.