Brazilian researchers announce breakthrough in developing dengue vaccine
Published: May 7, 2008 | 7019th good news item since 2003
A group of Brazilian researchers said Sunday they have obtained a protein that could help block the transmission of the dengue virus in animals.
The research, carried out by scientists in the State of Ceara University’s (UECE) Human Biochemistry Laboratory, holds great promise for the prevention of four different kinds of dengue, UECE’s Dengue Virus Project Coordinator Maria Izabel Florindo Guedes said.
“In animals the protein triggers the production of antibodies that block, at least in the lab, the dengue virus,” said Guedes.
“If we had support, we would be able to produce the vaccine in five years or less.”
Guedes added that the university needs 300,000 U.S. dollars to have an adequately equipped lab to develop the vaccine.
Currently the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro faces the worst dengue epidemic in history and so far this year some 121,586 people have been infected with the disease, and 103 people have died from it.
The dengue-related death toll could be higher since officials are still investigating if 106 other suspicious deaths may have been caused by the disease.