The Economic Value of a Visceral Leishmaniasis Vaccine in Bihar State, India

Bruce Y. Lee Public Health Computational and Operations Research (PHICOR), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Kristina M. Bacon Public Health Computational and Operations Research (PHICOR), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Mirat Shah Public Health Computational and Operations Research (PHICOR), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Sara Beth Kitchen Public Health Computational and Operations Research (PHICOR), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Diana L. Connor Public Health Computational and Operations Research (PHICOR), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Rachel B. Slayton Public Health Computational and Operations Research (PHICOR), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality and current available treatments have many limitations. The ability of VL infection to generate life-long immunity offers promise for the development of a VL vaccine. A VL vaccine candidate has recently completed phase I clinical trials. We constructed a computer simulation model to determine the potential economic value of a VL vaccine in the endemic region of Bihar state, India. Results found a potential vaccine to be cost-effective (and in many cases economically dominant, i.e., saving costs and providing health benefits) throughout a wide range of vaccination costs and vaccine efficacies, and VL risks. Overall, our study strongly supports the continued development of a VL vaccine.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Bruce Y. Lee, Public Health Computational and Operations Research (PHICOR), University of Pittsburgh, 200 Meyran Avenue, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. E-mail: BYL1@pitt.edu

Financial support: This study was supported by the Vaccine Modeling Initiative (VMI), funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) grant 5U54GM088491-02.

Authors' addresses: Bruce Y. Lee, Kristina M. Bacon, Mirat Shah, Sara Beth Kitchen, Diana L. Connor, and Rachel B. Slayton, Public Health Computational and Operations Research (PHICOR), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, E-mails: BYL1@pitt.edu, kmb148@pitt.edu, shah.mirat@medstudent.pitt.edu, sbkitchen@verizon.net, dlc56@pitt.edu, and rrb16@pitt.edu.

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