Dengue and Aedes-transmitted Diseases
Dengue has emerged as one of the most important infectious diseases over the past 40 years, currently infecting 400 million people worldwide each year in over 100 countries. Other rapidly spreading Aedes-borne infections such as Zika and chikungunya are a reminder that Aedes-transmitted diseases will continue to spread as global trends (e.g., population growth, urbanization and globalization) provide the ideal conditions for the spread of these diseases.
In light of this, IVI, the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) of Johns Hopkins University, the Partnership for Dengue Control Foundation (PDC) and the Sabin Vaccine Institute recently established a new global alliance to integrate approaches to fight dengue and other Aedes-transmitted diseases under one strategic umbrella, the Global Dengue and Aedes-transmitted Diseases Consortium (GDAC). GDAC will provide a global, unified strategy to prevent and control known and as yet unknown Aedes-transmitted diseases.
Working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), GDAC will provide scientific evidence to facilitate comprehensive Aedes-transmitted disease control, incorporating research and public health projects, technical meetings and consultancies, regulatory and policy support, financing frameworks, and communications and advocacy. GDAC’s key objectives are to accelerate innovation and application of vaccines, vector control, antivirals, clinical management, therapeutics, diagnostics and surveillance, and licensure and post-marketing oversight of vaccines. GDAC will also focus on strengthening social mobilization, advocacy, and capacity building. It will continue its members’ work with vaccine early-adopter countries to develop integrated control strategies specific to those countries. GDAC will work with all stakeholders to develop strategies designed to prevent outbreaks caused by other viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
GDAC brings together the Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI) and the Partnership for Dengue Control (PDC). Established in 2011 by IVI, IVAC, Sabin and the WHO, DVI focused on accelerating the development and introduction of safe and protective dengue vaccines into public-sector programs, especially for the poor, stimulating the development of safe and effective dengue vaccines. PDC was created in 2013 by a group of international dengue and public health experts to create synergy among exciting new tools in the development pipeline. Hosted by Fondation Merieux, PDC’s mission is to promote the development and implementation of innovative integrated approaches for the prevention and control of dengue.
IVI will expand its expertise in dengue to other Aedes-transmitted diseases such as chikungunya and zika in response to the urgent need for greater coordination in controlling disease transmitted by one of the world’s most dangerous insects, the Aedes mosquito.