Extra Credit:Dan T. Stinchcomb Seminar

Dan Stinchcomb spoke about mosquito born tropical diseases, more specifically Dengue Fever. Half of the worlds population is at risk of being exposed to Dengue Fever and there has been a rise in reports of Dengue Fever in tropical urban communities. It is also showing up in more northern and southern regions due to global warming.

Stinchcomb next explained how the disease affects people. The first time that a person is infected with Dengue they will become very sick, however if they survive and come into contact again with Dengue than they have no response to it, since they have developed antibodies to fight the familiar virus. The problem is that there is four different types of Dengue viruses and if a person who has been exposed to the first Dengue virus and becomes sick with the second virus than there is a higher change of infection. There is one vaccine that was approved and still many others in the making. The one vaccine that was approved is called CYD vaccine. CYD was made by taking part of the Yellow Fever vaccine and manipulating it to target the Dengue virus. CYD protects against all four of the viruses, which is good, the downside is that it doesn’t protect against each vaccine equally. The next virus is one the Stinchcomb is working on and its called TDV vaccine. ┬áThis was made with the Dengue 2 virus and was effective at neutralizing antibodies response and has gone through phase I and II of testing. Phase I tested to ensure that the vaccine was safe, while phase II focused on how the vaccine effected different age groups.

I really enjoyed this seminar, not only because it was interesting to learn about the spread of diseases and how their vaccines are made but also because it brings awareness to these disease that are such a big problem in tropical parts of the world, which is very important. This talk really relates to what we did in Lab 9 for our antibiotic susceptibility testings. The seminar goes into detail about how disease fighting medicines are created, even though one is focusing on viruses while the lab focused on bacteria. One question I did have was with the first vaccine, CYD, if it wasn’t completely effective than why did it get approved for use? Was it just being pushed through because a vaccine is really needed or does the FDA requirements need to be set to a higher standard?