Are we prepared for emerging flaviviruses in Europe? Challenges for vaccination.
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TitleAre we prepared for emerging flaviviruses in Europe? Challenges for vaccination.
Published inHum Vaccin Immunother 2018; 14(2):337-44
PubliekssamenvattingTick-borne encephalitis and West Nile fever are endemic flavivirus diseases in Europe. Climate change, virus evolution, and social factors may increase the risk of these flavivirus infections and may lead to the emergence of other flaviviruses in Europe that are endemic in (sub)tropical regions of the world. Control of the spread of flaviviruses is very difficult considering the cycling of flaviviruses between arthropod vectors and animal reservoir hosts. The increasing threat of flavivirus infections emphasizes the necessity of a sustainable vector surveillance system, an active animal health surveillance system and an adequate human surveillance system for early detection of flavivirus infections. Vaccination is the most important approach to prevent flavivirus infections. Effective inactivated whole virus vaccines against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) infection are available. Implementation of TBE vaccination based on favorable cost-effectiveness estimates per region and per target group can reduce the disease burden of TBE infection. At present, several West Nile virus (WNV) vaccine candidates are in various stages of clinical development. A major challenge for WNV vaccine candidates is to demonstrate efficacy, because of the sporadic nature of unpredictable WNV outbreaks. Universal WNV vaccination is unlikely to be cost-effective, vaccination of high-risk groups will be most appropriate to protect against WNV infections.
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