10 Apr 2008

New Zealand travel and vaccination centre welcomes new dengue vaccine research

10:51 am on 10 April 2008

The New Zealand Worldwise Travellers Health and Vaccination Centre says the development of a new dengue vaccine by a Hawaiian company is exciting news.

Hawaii Biotech has won a grant to develop and trial a new dengue vaccine and is expected start its clinical tests by the end of the year.

There are four different types of the potentially fatal dengue virus, which is transmitted through mosquito bites.

A company in Europe and another one in Thailand are also working on a vaccine.

Worlwise's Dr Marc Shaw says it's good that a new company has entered the scence.

"Curently there is no dengue fever vaccine available and this is exciting news. There's a bit of a race at the moment to see who can get the first dengue fever vaccine. Developing a vaccine, which would be able to treat the whole four forms of dengue fever, would be a supreme advance in medicine."

Dr Marc Shaw says this will be one of the challenges for the next ten years.