The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
Oct 2019 Volume 3 Number 10 p663-748
Dengue infection and advances in dengue vaccines for children
Scott B Halstead, Leonila F Dans
Dengue viruses are endemic in most tropical and subtropical countries where they produce disease ranging from a mild fever to a severe, potentially fatal vascular permeability syndrome. We reviewed the status of development and testing in children of three vaccines designed to protect against the four dengue viruses. The first dengue virus vaccine, Dengvaxia, now licensed in 20 endemic countries, the EU and the USA, provides protection against severe dengue in seropositive individuals but increases the risk for naive recipients to develop severe dengue and to be hospitalised. We discuss mechanisms and implications of shortcomings of the licensed vaccine and describe the structure and attributes of two other dengue virus vaccines. Based upon human dengue challenge studies, one of these vaccines promises to deliver solid, long-lasting immunity after a single dose. Because dengue virus infections are ubiquitous in residents and visitors to tropical countries, in the absence of a protective vaccine paediatricians should recognise the early signs and clinical presentation of severe dengue, understand its pathophysiology and appropriate management.