DNA Vaccine for Dengue

In a significant development in DNA vaccination research, India’s first and only DNA vaccine candidate for dengue has shown promising results

What is in the News ?

• In preliminary trials on mice, the candidate generated a robust immune response and improved survival rates after exposure to the disease.

• The DNA vaccine candidate has been in development since 2019 by scientists from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru, in collaboration with nine institutions in India, Africa and the US. 

What are DNA Vaccines ?

• A DNA vaccine is a vaccine that puts a specific DNA sequence that codes for an antigen into an organism’s cells to trigger an immune response.

• The world’s first DNA vaccine—ZyCoV-D, developed by Zydus Cadila—was approved in 2021 for emergency use against COVID-19. (ST.1.3) Dengue

• Dengue is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus (Genus Flavivirus), transmitted by several species of female mosquito within the genus Aedes, principally Aedes aegypti.

• This mosquito also transmits chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika infection.

• There are 4 distinct, but closely related, serotypes (separate groups within a species of microorganisms that all share a similar characteristic) of the virus that cause dengue (DEN-1, DEN2, DEN-3 and DEN-4).

• Symptoms : Sudden high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, severe bone, joint, and muscle pain, etc.

• Treatment : There is no specific treatment for Dengue disease. 

• Current Dengue Vaccine :

▪ The dengue vaccine CYD-TDV or Dengvaxia was approved by the US Food & Drug Administration in 2019, the first dengue vaccine to get the regulatory nod in the US.

▪ Dengvaxia is basically a live, attenuated dengue virus which has to be administered in people of ages 9 to 16 who have laboratory-confirmed previous dengue infection and who live in endemic areas.