Visceral Leishmaniasis Control and Elimination: Is There a Role for Vaccines in Achieving Regional and Global Goals?

Annie X. Mo Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland.

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John Pesce Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland.
Commissioned Corps, United States Public Health Service, Rockville, Maryland.

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B. Fenton Hall Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland.

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In September 2015, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases organized a workshop to address the roles of vaccines in achieving regional and global goals for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) control and elimination, a critical step in determining desired product characteristics as well as research and development needs and opportunities. Although current regional programs and strategies are making progress to control and perhaps eliminate the disease in some endemic areas, such as India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, workshop participants concluded that vaccines would still be necessary to sustain elimination efforts and ultimately block and reduce transmission. In addition, vaccines would be valuable and even critical tools for other areas of the world, such as east Africa, where treatment options are more limited and control programs for VL are less effective. Because different disease foci present different epidemiological features, product characteristics should be carefully designed to reflect vaccines that either target common antigens for all forms of VL or are tailored to fit regional needs.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Annie X. Mo, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852. E-mail: annie.mo@nih.gov

Financial support: The meeting was financially sponsored by the NIH and also in part supported by the FNIH which received grant funding from the BMGF.

Authors' addresses: Annie X. Mo, John Pesce, and B. Fenton Hall, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, E-mails: annie.mo@nih.gov, john.pesce@nih.gov, and lhall@niaid.nih.gov.

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