Dengue Vaccine Initiative launches

The Dengue Vaccine Initiative, an international consortium dedicated to ending the threat posed by dengue fever, was recently launched by the International Vaccine Institute and its other partners.

Joining the IVI in the beginnings of the DVI are the Sabine Institute, Johns Hopkins University and the World Health Organization, according to News-Medical.net.

With a $6.9 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DVI hopes to accelerate the development and utilization of safe and affordable vaccines that can be used against dengue, a widespread and expanding hemorrhagic fever that is endemic in much of the tropical world.

The DVI is especially concerned with the hemorrhagic forms of dengue fever, which hospitalizes roughly two million people each year. This represents a major burden on the health care systems of developing nations.

"We are extremely grateful for the Gates Foundation's continued support of our critical work to promote the development of life-saving dengue vaccines and ensure their effective introduction," Dr. John Clemens, director-general of IVI said, according to News-Medical.net. "Dengue is an infection whose burden has increased sharply around the world.

"The global dengue community is on the eve of many important breakthroughs in dengue research and development, and I believe that we'll make significant progress in controlling dengue within the decade."