Dengue, also known as breakbone fever, is a painful and sometimes fatal viral disease characterized by headache, skin rash and debilitating muscle and joint pains. In some cases, it can lead to circulatory failure, shock, coma and death. The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades, and the latest figures estimate that there are 100 million symptomatic cases of dengue around the world each year. Dengue is now endemic in over 120 countries across the globe, and is the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral disease.
Developing an effective vaccine against dengue remains a challenge. There are four closely related viruses that can cause disease, and the goal for a vaccine is to protect against all four. Sanofi Pasteur’s Dengvaxia® became the first dengue vaccine to be licensed for use in 2015. Today, five other vaccines are currently being assessed in clinical trials.
Combating dengue requires improved surveillance and country preparedness, as well as collaborations across countries and industries. Through its projects and partnerships Sabin is working to improve disease information and raise the profile of dengue. High quality disease and vector surveillance data, reliable diagnostics, trained staff and coordinated application will be required at a local, national and international level.
Sabin is a member of the Global Dengue & Aedes-Transmitted Diseases Consortium (GDAC), a consortium composed of the Partnership for Dengue Control (PDC), the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. GDAC partners have provided independent guidance to countries struggling with dengue outbreaks, bringing together governments, the scientific community, international and local stakeholders as well as national regulatory authorities.
Until 2016, Sabin served as the advocacy arm for the Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI). The other DVI consortium members were the World Health Organization, the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University and the International Vaccine Institute. DVI’S work built on the capabilities of the consortium members and DVI partners to lay the groundwork for dengue vaccine introduction.