Dengue fever, an infectious disease transmitted by mosquito bites Aedes aegypti, has increased its incidence worldwide and, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), every year between 50 and 100 million new cases are registered. Currently, the treatment of dengue is based on alleviating symptoms, such as fever and dehydration, and it is not possible to adopt preventive measures, except to try to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes that transmit the disease.

A trial conducted with 4,000 children between four and eleven years of age has shown that a vaccine is safe and partially effective against three of the four serotypes of the dengue virus.

For this reason, developing a vaccine that protects against the virus that causes this pathology, whose complications can lead to death, is the goal of many ongoing investigations. One of these trials, which has been carried out in Thailand - the country where the infection is endemic - with 4,000 children aged between four and eleven, has proven that a new vaccine is safe and partially effective to combat three of the four serotypes of the dengue virus.

The results of the study - which have been published in 'The Lancet' - reveal that the vaccine was especially effective against serotype 3 of the virus (by 90%), but did not achieve anything against serotype 2. Therefore, new studies, both to confirm the results with a larger population sample, and to try to get a drug that protects against the four serotypes.

Currently, a new trial is underway involving 31,000 healthy volunteers - adults and children - who mostly reside in endemic countries, and this new research is expected to provide additional information that will help scientists develop a really effective vaccine.

Dengue vaccine advocate defends speedy licensing (November 2019).