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IDrugs. 2010 Dec;13(12):880-4.

Advances in flavivirus vaccine development.

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Hawaii Biotech Inc, 99-193 Aiea Heights Drive, Suite 200, Aiea, HI 96701, USA.


Flaviviruses comprise a diverse family of viruses that are cumulatively responsible for hundreds of millions of cases of infection annually. The Flavivirus genus includes both insect-vectored viruses, such as yellow fever and dengue, and non-vectored viruses such as HCV; the viruses have a broad range of disease presentation and geographic distribution. No specific antiviral therapies are currently available for the diseases caused by insect-vectored flaviviruses. Thus, efforts have been focused on the prevention of disease, through either vaccination or vector control, rather than on the treatment of infected individuals. While vector control can occasionally be successful in controlling the spread of flavivirus outbreaks, vaccines appear to be a more cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly approach. A review of vaccines for the medically important flaviviruses presents the full spectrum of vaccine options and complexity levels, and provides examples of successes and major challenges. The insect-borne flavivirus vaccine field is dynamic, with new and improved vaccines being advanced to replace existing vaccines, and novel vaccine approaches being developed for those targets that currently lack an approved vaccine. Advances in scientific knowledge and in the application of new technologies are helping to overcome some of the key challenges that have stymied the field for decades. New, safe and effective vaccines to protect against yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis, West Nile and dengue viruses will likely result.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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