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Have Mosquitoes Met Their Match? A New Dengue Vaccine Is Working

In a small study, participants who received the TV003 vaccine developed no symptoms of dengue fever.
Posted at 6:53 PM, Mar 16, 2016

Scientists are really, really close to fighting a fair fight against dengue fever. 

The infection, which is spread by mosquitoes, affects more than 400 million people each year. But that number could plummet thanks to a new experimental vaccine called TV003.

Experts have been developing and testing vaccines for years, but a report from the National Institutes of Health released Wednesday indicates things are moving in the right direction.

In a small study, volunteers were injected with the vaccine or a placebo and then injected with a modified form of dengue type 2 virus. People who got the vaccine developed no symptoms whatsoever.

One of the researchers on that study said: "To see that we got 100 percent protection against infection gives us great confidence in moving forward that the vaccine is going to work. So we were extremely excited."

They were so excited that researchers started a larger study. According to The Washington Post, the vaccine is now being tested on thousands of adults in Brazil.

This is good news in the fight against the dengue virus and also potentially good news in the fight against the Zika virus.

While much less is known about the Zika virus, both diseases are spread by the same species of mosquito, and researchers are hopeful a similarly structured trial for a Zika vaccine would yield similar results.

This video includes clips from Cleveland ClinicVoice of America and KHON and images from Getty Images.