Cuba this year will run clinical trials on a vaccine against dengue fever, leaders of the project announced Wednesday at the International Biotechnology Congress in Havana.
The research director at the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, or Cigb, Gerardo Guillen, said research in monkeys proved the vaccine’s effectiveness in controlling the multiplication of the virus.
The vaccine is designed to act on all four known variants of the dengue virus, Guillen said.
Guillen said that so far there are no products in existence anywhere that prevent dengue fever, although several international pharmaceutical firms are developing weaker vaccines that use the virus itself to treat the illness.
Cigb worked with France’s Pasteur Institute to develop the vaccine.
Dengue, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is characterized by a high fever and intense general malaise accompanied by skin eruptions.
In 2011, dengue epidemics broke out in several countries in Latin America and, according to figures from the Pan American Health Organization, each year the disease affects about 100 million people worldwide.