Dengue is a very rapidly growing public health problem being currently faced by ∼40% of the global population living in more than a hundred tropical and sub-tropical countries. It is a viral disease, caused by four types of dengue viruses, transmitted by mosquitoes, to an estimated 50 million people each year. Vector control methods to contain transmission have not been successful and there is currently no useful diagnostic test, drug or vaccine to combat dengue disease. However, as a result of the heightened awareness of its magnitude and its potential to spread beyond the tropical world, dengue has begun to emerge out of the list of neglected diseases in recent years. New interest in this disease has drawn scientists from multiple disciplines into the dengue arena. This has resulted in novel insights into several aspects of dengue virus biology and identified potential drug targets. Several tetravalent vaccines are being developed. Newer animal models that mirror some of the salient features of dengue disease are becoming available to investigate the mechanism of pathogenesis and to aid in drug and vaccine discovery efforts. The realization that therapeutic and prophylactic intervention can be cost-effective has resulted in vigorous industry-driven translational initiatives to develop drugs and vaccines. Dengue research is at a critical juncture and the implementation of existing knowledge supplemented by a better understanding of pathogenesis promises to make a tangible impact in the combat against dengue in the coming years.
Keywords: Dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, dengue pathogenesis, dengue vaccines, dengue drugs, dengue diagnostics
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport