|Author||Vekemans J, Gouvea-Reis F, Kim JH, Excler JL, Smeesters PR, O'Brien KL, Van Beneden CA, Steer AC, Carapetis JR, Kaslow DC|
|Title||The path to group A Streptococcus vaccines: WHO research and development technology roadmap and preferred product characteristics.|
|Journal Name||Clin Infect Dis|
|Month / Year||08/2019|
Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections result in a considerable under-appreciated burden of acute and chronic disease, globally. A 2018 World Health Assembly resolution calls for better control and prevention. Providing guidance on global health research needs is an important WHO activity, influencing prioritization of investments. Here, the role, status and directions in GAS vaccines research are discussed. WHO preferred product characteristics and a research and development technology roadmap, briefly presented, offer an actionable framework for vaccine development to regulatory and policy decision-making, availability and use. GAS vaccines should be considered for global prevention of the range of clinical manifestations and associated antibiotic use. Impediments related to antigen diversity, safety concerns, and the difficulty to establish vaccine efficacy against rheumatic heart disease are discussed. Demonstration of vaccine efficacy against pharyngitis and skin infections constitute key near-term strategic goals. Investments and collaborative partnerships to diversify and advance vaccine candidates are needed.