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7th March 2022 (6 Topics)

India Set to carry out phase 3 clinical trials for vaccine against dengue


Pharmaceutical companies and vaccine makers who have developed potential vaccine candidates against dengue and have successfully completed phase 1 and 2.


About Dengue:

  • Dengue viruses are spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species (Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus) mosquito. 
  • These mosquitoes are also vectors of chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika viruses.
  • The virus responsible for causing dengue, is called dengue virus (DENV). There are four DENV serotypes and it is possible to be infected four times.
  • Diagnosis and Treatment:
    • Diagnosis of dengue infection is done with a blood test.
    • There is no specific medicine to treat dengue infection.
  • Status of Dengue:
    • Incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades, with a vast majority of cases under-reported, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
    • WHO estimates 39 crore dengue virus infections per year, of which 9.6 crore show symptoms.
    • India registered over 1 lakh dengue cases in 2018 and over 1.5 lakh cases in 2019, according to the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).
      • NVBDCP is the central nodal agency for prevention and control of six vector borne diseasese. Malaria, Dengue, Lymphatic Filariasis, Kala-azar, Japanese Encephalitis and Chikungunya in India. It works under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Controlling Dengue Using Bacteria:
    • Recently researchers from the World Mosquito Program have used mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria to successfully control dengue in Indonesia.
    • The scientists infected some mosquitoes with Wolbachia and then released them in the city where they bred with local mosquitoes, until nearly all mosquitoes in the area were carrying Wolbachia bacteria. This is called the Population Replacement Strategy.
    • At the end of 27 months, the researchers found that the incidence of dengue was 77% lower in areas where Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes had been released, as compared to areas without such deployments.

About Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR):

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
  • It was formed in 1911 when it was known as Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA). In 1949, IRFA was renamed ICMR.
  • It comes under the Department of Health Services (DHS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW).
  • The headquarters of ICMR is in New Delhi.
  • It is neither a statutory body nor a regulatory body.
  • ICMR hosts Clinical Trials Registry – India (CTRI). It was established on 20th July 2007.
    • It is a free and online public record system for the registration of clinical trials being conducted in India.
    • Till 15th June 2009, the clinical trial registry was a voluntary measure; after which the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has made trial registration at CTRI mandatory.
    • Importance – It encourages registration of clinical trials before the enrolment of the first participant.
    • The ICMR has always attempted to address itself to the growing demands of scientific advances in biomedical research on the one hand, and to the need of finding practical solutions to the health problems of the country, on the other. 

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