Last week, Dr. Peter Hotez, president of Sabin Vaccine Institute and his co-author, Dr. Bruce Lee of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, published a new study in Lancet Infectious Diseases. In this first study of its kind, Drs. Hotez and Lee measured the health and economic impact of Chagas disease and found that the total economic burden matches or exceeds that of many more well-known diseases such as rotavirus, Lyme disease and cervical cancer. In total, the study estimates that the global economic cost of Chagas disease exceeds USD $7 billion annually.

To combat this growing global concern, the Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (Sabin PDP), in collaboration with Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine and other PDP partners, is currently engaged in early research and development for a bivalent therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of chronic Chagas disease. If successful, it would be the first therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of this disease.

These new findings and the Sabin PDP’s efforts to develop a Chagas vaccine were covered by National Public Radio (NPR), the New York Times and several other media outlets.

You can see the full press release here.

Photo by Thierry Heger