Vaccine success would prompt rethink in pneumonia care

May 3rd, 2008 - 4:51 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 3 (IANS) Pneumonia is the single most lethal killer of children under-five, accounting for a fifth of such deaths worldwide. But if vaccination programmes manage to halve mortality from pneumonia, strategies to combat the remaining disease will necessitate a complete re-think.

In that case, it would render the present classification of pneumonia obsolete, said researchers. Other causes of pneumonia, like the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus will need to be given more attention and vaccination campaigns may prove impractical or too expensive.

Distinguishing between pneumonia and asthma - on the rise in developing countries - will be important, as will consideration of the effect of tuberculosis and other risk factors, such as HIV infection, indoor air pollution and poor nutrition.

Better diagnostic tests will be required, as well as clinical trials at multiple sites to evaluate new treatments for the various causes of pneumonia, reports Scidev.Net.

The authors of the study said this represents “at least a decade’s work, yet the situation we anticipate will arrive in many developing countries before a decade is out”.

J. Anthony, G. Scott and Mike English, writing in PloS Medicine, said that current strategies should focus on two vaccine preventable pathogens.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |