The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recently reported its clinical trial findings on a Dengue 2 virus vaccine.
The trial indicated that the vaccine completely prevented dengue virus from human volunteers.
Dengue is the most prominent mosquito-to-human virus throughout the entire world, with close to 400 million infected people in 120 separate countries per year. Symptoms include a higher fiver, headaches, pain behind the eyes, rashes and aching joints, muscle or bones, and hemorrhagic fever -- the culprit of hemorrhagic fever for two million people and killing over 25,000 people each year. Although multiple vaccines have been created against dengue, they have proven to be only partially effective.
Anna Durbin, associate professor of international health at the Bloomberg School, was motivated by the failing dengue vaccine to find a better solution, and by February had begun trials. The school's vaccine, called TV003, must work to protect victims from all four types of dengue virus, as a second contraction of a different strand often brings with it more severe reactions.
“What we’re trying to do is accelerate vaccine development, weeding out poor candidates before testing them in large numbers of people in places where dengue is endemic,” Durbin, who has been working on a vaccine for dengue for more than 15 years, said.
After the trials, the group found that TV003 protected against all types of dengue virus, but had trouble protecting against Dengue 2. When testing if TV003 could prevent it if victims were exposed to Dengue 2 after only six months, the results indicated yes.
Durbin is confident that the study of, and vaccination against, the dengue virus could lead to promising contributions, such as the development of a vaccine against Zika virus, as it is also a mosquito-borne infection.
The school's findings were published in Science Translational Medicine on March 16.