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United Kingdom : PHE announce world's first Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever vaccine.

The first vaccine against Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus gives 100% protection in an experimental model in mice.

Scientists at Public Health England (PHE) have engineered a novel vaccine against Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus, announced today in the journal PLOS ONE.

The vaccine was able to give 100% protection against CCHF in an experimental model in mice. This is the first report that an experimental CCHF vaccine can be effective in such a challenge model. The experimental vaccine uses a friendly virus, which has an excellent safety record in over 100,000 people, to present the components of CCHF virus and induce a protective immune response to this severe disease.

Professor Miles Carroll, a deputy director and head of research at microbiology services at PHE said:

This is a significant breakthrough and demonstrates the potential to develop a publically available vaccine against Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

Viruses don t have borders. Our work on CCHF not only demonstrates our commitment to the health of the UK, but also our scientists desire to combat infections worldwide.

Professor Roger Hewson, a scientific leader at PHE said:

This report provides the first demonstration of protection by a CCHF vaccine, in a model system. The current data look promising and represent progress in the search for a medical intervention that can be used to protect against CCHF.

CCHF is endemic in many countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe, including Turkey and Bulgaria. Since 2001 new outbreaks have been reported in tourist areas including Greece, India and Pakistan. More than 4400 cases have occurred in Turkey since 2002. In 2012, a lethal case of CCHF occurred in a UK citizen returning to Glasgow from Afghanistan.

People most at risk are agricultural workers, health-care workers and military personnel deployed to endemic areas. CCHF is most often transmitted by a tick bite but can also be spread through contact with infected patients or animals.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:6ZAIR
Date:Mar 14, 2014
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