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Vaccine for ear and sinus infections to be developed…

The researchers in the U.S. announced the commencement of trials of a new vaccine against childhood ear and sinus infections and several bronchitis cases in adults on Tuesday.//

According to the researchers, the vaccine will aim at preventing irritating problems unlike the other vaccines on the markets that are life saving.

"We are now in an era where we look to vaccines that make life better," said Dr. Michael Pichichero, a professor of microbiology, immunology, pediatrics, and medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who is leading the trial. "The vaccine will target Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae or NTHi, which is the main remaining cause of ear and sinus infections and bronchitis, now that vaccines exist for various forms of streptococcal bacteria and Haemophilus influenzae B, the previous leading causes.

"For ear infections they are the No. 1 cause, for sinus infections they are the No. 1 cause and for bronchitis in adults they are the No. 1 cause, but they do not invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening illness in normal people," Pichichero said in a telephone interview.

He pointed out that though ear infections were not fatal, they could cause severe damage in some kids. 83% of kids in the U.S. suffer from one or more types of ear infections by the age of 3 years and some cases end up in permanent hearing loss.

These infections are often treated with antibiotics, which leads to overuse of antibiotics resulting in wastage of money and evolution of drug resistant "superbug" bacteria. The vaccine Prevnar was developed by a team at Rochester and marketed by Wyeth (WYE.N: Quote, Profile, Research). This vaccine provides protection in infants and kids against certain bacterial strains causing pneumonia, meningitis and ear infections.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a 78% reduction of pneumonia rates from the streptococcal strains t
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