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Vi typhoid vaccine proves highly effective in young children
Date:7/22/2009

SEOUL, Korea -- A new study has found that a currently available yet underused vaccine against typhoid fever is highly effective in young children and protects unvaccinated neighbors of vaccinees.

The study, conducted by the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in collaboration with the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata, India, was published in the July 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The IVI, based in Seoul, Korea, is a non-profit international organization devoted exclusively to development and deployment of new vaccines primarily for people in developing countries.

Typhoid fever remains an important cause of illness and death in the developing world, killing an estimated 216,000 to 600,000 people annually. Multidrug-resistant Salmonella typhi has spread to many parts of the world, limiting the ability to treat typhoid fever with available antibiotics. Typhoid is both a waterborne and food-borne gastrointestinal infection, with incidence approaching one percent of the population annually in certain endemic areas. Experts say that in the absence of affordable programs to assure safe water and better sanitation, short and medium-term efforts need to be directed towards prevention through vaccines.

Safe and effective vaccines against typhoid fever exist, but they are used primarily for affluent travelers to developing countries, rather than for the poor residing in these countries, who account for almost all the global burden of typhoid morbidity and mortality. One of these vaccines, Vi polysaccharide, is ideally suited to use in developing countries because it is cheap (about $.50 per dose) and requires only a single dose.

Despite a recommendation by the World Health Organization for use of Vi vaccines in developing countries, its use has been limited, partly because of doubts about Vi's ability to protect pre-school age children. This age group is at ex
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Contact: Tae Kyung Byun
tkbyun@ivi.int
82-119-773-6071
International Vaccine Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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