Finding a vaccine for dengue fever: participants needed
30 September 2010
After decades of control, dengue fever is spreading again across tropical and subtropical regions and has even moved south to infect people living in northern Queensland cities such as Cairns, Port Douglas and Townsville.
The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance affiliated with the University of Sydney is inviting volunteers aged 18 to 60 years living in Sydney to assist in taking the next important step in the late stages of development for a vaccine that prevents dengue fever.
Participants will be helping 2.5 billion people who will benefit from a dengue fever vaccine. The study is conducted under close medical supervision.
Sydney is the ideal place for this study as most residents have not had dengue fever and the vaccine must be studied in people who have not had the disease. Similar studies are being done in tropical countries to learn more about the vaccine's effect in people who live in dengue-affected areas.
The vaccines division of the sanofi-pasteur Group, Sanofi Pasteur, is developing a vaccine which is in the late stages of development. So far, about 3000 children and 1400 adults have been given the vaccine. It has been well tolerated and has produced good immune responses. However, before the vaccine can be used widely, more information is needed about its effect in people who have not had dengue fever.
Dengue fever is now the second most common reason (after malaria) for hospitalisation of tourists returning from the tropics, and worldwide, 2.5 billion people are at risk because they live or travel in dengue affected regions. Each year 50 to 100 million people become infected with dengue fever and 500,000 people are hospitalised and about 20,000 people die, mainly children.
Pronounced 'den-gi', dengue fever viruses are spread by mosquito bites. Dengue fever (nicknamed 'breakbone fever') may cause high fevers, chills, headaches, vomiting and skin rash accompanied by severe pain in the back, muscles, bones and joints. Sometimes the infection causes internal bleeding, which can progress to dengue shock syndrome and death.
To learn more about how you can help develop this vaccine, download the information brochure or call Elizabeth Clarke 0423 799 226, Camille Lang 9845 0136 or Pamela Cheung 9845 1408.
Media enquiries: Jacqueline Chowns, 9036 5404, 0434 605 018, email@example.com