Thai researchers have planned to test a dengue fever vaccine on 3,000-5,000 human volunteers within the next three years after having successfully conducted tests on animals and a small group of human volunteers, Thai News Agency reported Sunday.
Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. A patient develops high fever, rash, headaches and severe muscle and joint pains.
Prof. Suthee Yoksan, director of Mahidol University's Vaccine Development Center for Research said the center has developed a vaccine which may help prevent infection from all four strains of dengue virus.
The Mahidol vaccine was first successfully tested with laboratory animals. Further tests with between some 200 children and adults found that just one-shot of the vaccine helps develop immunity in the small group of volunteers and that prevents virus infection.
In the next stage, or phrase three, Prof. Suthee said, his team will produce a larger amount of the vaccine to use on tests with a large group of between 3,000-5,000 volunteers in the central province of Ratchaburi. This is expected to be completed in 2007.
Dengue has infected 7,200 people in Thailand as of early May 2005, of whom 12 have died, up from seven deaths in the same period last year, according to Department of Disease Control chief Thawat Suntrajarn.