Butantane Tests Human Dengue Vaccine; Check out what we know

In addition to flu vaccinations and Covid-19, the Butantane Institute is working on the development of other immunization products for Brazilians as a formula against dengue fever. The trial against the virus is in the third and final phase before approval, and all volunteers have already been recruited. The survey is expected to be completed by 2024.

As summer approaches, the number of dengue cases in the country tends to increase, and this movement has been around for many years but is difficult to resolve. After all, containing the spread of disease depends on mosquito control. Aedes aegypti, May breed in stagnant waters. In some areas with no infrastructure, this is a major challenge.

Today in Brazil there is a vaccine against Dengvaxia from the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Pasteur. However, its use is limited and the formula is not freely available from the SUS. Therefore, a new alternative to dengue prevention can be beneficial.

Butantane is testing a tetravalent dengue vaccine in a phase 3 study (Photo: Reproduktion / Mohammed Nozrath / Pixabay)

On the other hand, Brazil recorded 1.48 million cases with 689 deaths in 2019 alone. Given this scenario, butantane began studies of a vaccine against the virus in 2009. In parallel to the clinical phase 3 study, butantane is already evaluating the expansion of the vaccine. This means that the institute is analyzing ways to raise the production of laboratory tests to an industrial level today.

How does the vaccine work?

The butantane vaccine uses an attenuated virus technology against dengue that stimulates antibody production without causing disease with few side effects. “Whenever a new vaccine is planned, the ideal solution is to use an attenuated virus whenever possible, as it creates a more efficient and sustained response,” explains Neuza Maria, project manager in the laboratory for the development of viral vaccines in Butantane Frazatti Gallina .

The virus needs to be contained by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of butantane’s partners in the initiative. These weak infectious agents are cultivated in Vero cells of the African green monkey. Then the raw material is cleaned and transferred to the formulation. The final step is lyophilization – a process that turns a liquid into a powder – and making a diluent to dilute the powder when the vaccine is applied.

In addition, the formula must be tetravalent, which means that it protects against four types of dengue (types 1, 2, 3 and 4). Please note that flu vaccines are also tetravalent. This variant is usually valid when different types of the same virus, loaded with mutations, spread via the same site.

Outlook in the fight against dengue fever

“The vaccine will be one of the key components in fighting the disease, but it’s important to emphasize that it’s not just the vaccine that combats dengue fever. We must continue to implement all other ways of combating mosquitoes, including the transmission of dengue, ”recalls Alexandre Precioso, Director of the Center for Clinical Safety and Risk Management.

“People who are vaccinated will avoid hospitalizations and deaths, and this will bring dengue fever under control in the country,” said Newsa. “In every situation it is important to take preventive action. In the public health sector, vaccines are the main way of preventing disease, ”he adds.

Source: Putantan Institute

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