19 Apr 2024
Wednesday 28 February 2024 - 21:57
Story Code : 416446
Source : Tehran Times

Iran aims to produce world’s first vaccine for leishmaniasis

The Iran Project : Pasteur Institute of Iran has embarked on producing a vaccine for leishmaniasis which is said to be the first of its kind in the world.
Leishmania parasites
Leishmania parasites
According to The Iran Project,Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease that is found in parts of the tropics, subtropics, and southern Europe. It is caused by infection with Leishmania parasites, which are spread by the bite of infected sandflies.

There are several different forms of leishmaniasis in people. The most common forms are cutaneous leishmaniasis, which causes skin sores, and visceral leishmaniasis, which affects several internal organs (usually spleen, liver, and bone marrow).

“The disease has been reported in some parts of the country, but there is currently no vaccine for leishmaniasis in the world,” ISNA quoted Rahim Sarvari, the president of Pasteur Institute as saying.

Accordingly, one of the main priorities of the Pasteur Institute of Iran is to produce a vaccine for the treatment of Leishmaniasis, he said.

Sarvari went on to say that extensive efforts are underway to develop the vaccine. “The process has gone through several phases, and the results will be announced soon.”

Since the disease is caused by a parasite (Leishmania) which easily changes structure as it is detected, the development of the vaccine requires further in-depth study, he noted.

Pneumococcal vaccination of babies kicks off

On February 19, the national program for pneumococcal vaccination of babies under 12 months of age started.

The program was officially launched in the city of Bandar Khamir, southern Hormozgan province, IRNA reported.

The vaccination program to combat pneumococcal has been added to the country's immunization program, Pedram Pak-Aein, an official with the ministry of health, said.

It will be implemented in several phases, with the priority given to underdeveloped areas, he added.

Some 3.5 million doses of pneumococcal vaccine have been imported. In the first phase, the vaccines will be distributed in deprived areas of the southern provinces of the country, the official explained.

The vaccine prevents not only the death of at least 1,500 children every year but also protects thousands of other children against bacterial infection caused by the virus, he further noted.

Pak-Aein went on to say that vaccination against rotavirus will start in the calendar month starting February 20 aiming to prevent the hospitalization of 10,000 children per year.

Knowledge-based companies and domestic manufacturers will soon produce both pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines and present them to the market within the next few months.

The pneumococcal vaccine helps protect against some types of bacterial infections that can cause serious illnesses like meningitis (an infection in the brain and spinal cord) sepsis (a life-threatening reaction to an infection) pneumonia (an infection in the lungs).

Pneumococcal vaccine can be injected when babies are 2, 4, and 12 months old, IRNA quoted Mohsen Zahraei, the head of the preventable diseases department of the Ministry of Health, as saying.

“We hope to be able to develop these two vaccines soon. Once the vaccines pass the quality control trials, and obtain the Food and Drug Organization approval, we will be able to use the domestic products in the national vaccination program,” Zahraei said.

“Since the development of a vaccine is a complex process and takes a lot of time, the vaccines are imported now.

Annual vaccination worldwide prevents the death of two and a half million children, which shows the very high effectiveness of vaccines,” he added.
Reporter : Editorial of The Iran Project
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