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Study Shows Cholera Can be Controlled With Oral Vaccines
Date:11/26/2007

Endemic cholera is a bacterial infection of the small intestine that causes acute, watery diarrhea. If untreated, it can lead to potentially fatal dehydration. Although advances in rehydration therapy have made cholera a treatable disease in areas with sufficient medical care, it remains a fatal condition among the world's most impoverished populations. The disease is caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with a comma-shaped bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.

Co-authors on the paper included researchers from Emory University in Atlanta; the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul, Korea; and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh.

"These important findings stem from the recent recognition that oral vaccines against cholera confer herd protection -- protection of nonvaccinated neighbors of vaccinated persons," said John Clemens, M.D., director-general of the International Vaccine Institute and paper co-author. "I believe this study will have an impact on the public-health community's approach to controlling cholera," he said.

The research was supported by the Diseases of the Most Impoverished (DOMI) Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS), and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit fhcrc.org.

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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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