Dengue Fever Vaccine Trials Begin

Monday - 8/30/2010, 7:29pm EDT

Human clinical testing has begun of a vaccine to prevent infection by the mosquito-borne dengue virus. The vaccine was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and is undergoing clinical study at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

With increasing infection rates, and the discovery of dengue fever in parts of Florida, finding a way to prevent dengue infection has become a priority for the Institute. About 2.5 billion people in over 100 countries worldwide live in areas where they are at risk of dengue infection, and currently there is no vaccine to prevent infection, or any drug treatment for those who become infected.

Dengue virus infects about 50 million to100 million people. It accounts for 25,000 deaths annually; most of them in children.