Currently, there is no vaccine to protect against dengue. Dengue vaccines have been under development since the 1940s, but due to the limited appreciation of global dengue disease burden and of the potential markets for dengue vaccines, the industry’s interest languished throughout much of the 20th century.
In recent years, however, the development of dengue vaccines has accelerated dramatically. Today, several vaccines are in various stages of advanced development, with clinical trials currently underway on five candidate vaccines. Trials in the most advanced stages are showing encouraging preliminary data, and the leading candidate could be licensed as early as 2015.
Any vaccine developed must be incorporated in to the tactics already in use. Dengue vaccines will complement, but not replace, prevention methods, such as vector control, already in place. According to the WHO, drawing on the experiences of other vaccine-preventable vector-borne diseases, effective surveillance, prevention and outbreak response tools (vector control and vaccines) must continue to complement each other in reducing the burden of the disease.