08/17/13 - IANS - Cuba tests dengue vaccine on animals
The Times of India
HAVANA: Cuba is testing a vaccine against dengue fever on animals. The test
is considered one of the most advanced projects of its kind, a Cuban
The vaccine is composed of a protein that works by inducing cells to
generate neutralising antibodies, Alienys Izquierdo Oliva, a member of the
National Dengue Vaccine Project, told Xinhua.
"If we have neutralising antibodies, then we will have protection," said
The expert was taking part in the ongoing 13th International Course on
Dengue and its Control at Havana's Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical
The vaccine is currently undergoing pre-clinical studies on mice and
monkeys, marking the last stage of test trials on animals before clinical
trials can begin on humans, the scientist said.
"So far, the vaccine has proven to be effective in controlling the
replication of the virus in these animals, demonstrating the potential to
protect against the disease," he said.
Izquierdo said the advantage of the vaccine being developed in Cuba is that
unlike other vaccines, it does not carry the risk of exposing the
inoculated person to a second infection from another strain.
Other vaccines carry the risk of exposing the inoculated person to a second
infection from another strain, which could be even more severe form of the
disease, the expert said.
"That is the main problem with the other vaccines being developed currently
around the world, though they are in the most advanced stage of clinical
However, Izquierdo said there was still some way to go before Cuba can
introduce an effective vaccine against dengue to the world.
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