icddr,b and partners begin research to find how well the WHO prequalified typhoid conjugate vaccine prevents typhoid disease in Bangladeshi children

Dhaka, April 15, 2018 – Today, icddr,b in collaboration with Dhaka North City Corporation and Expanded Program on Immunization of Bangladesh have commenced a typhoid conjugate vaccine  effectiveness study among 43,350 children between 9 months and under 16 years of age, living in Mirpur, Dhaka. The study is a part of the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC) project, in which researchers are conducting studies to evaluate just how much typhoid can be prevented by the typhoid conjugate vaccine in Bangladesh. Studies are also ongoing in Malawi and Nepal. 

Typhoid fever is caused by a bacterium, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and is a major cause of illness; children and adolescents are mostly affected. Globally, about one hundred and fifty thousand patients die due to typhoid every year but it causes severe illness in others. Earlier studies have confirmed bacteremic typhoid fever incidence of 3.9 episodes per 1,000 person-years during fever surveillance in a Dhaka urban slum. Two old typhoid vaccines are already prequalified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for prevention and protection from typhoid, however these are not included in the routine immunization programme of Bangladesh. These are not licensed nor are they effective for infants and young children. The new single-dose injectable typhoid conjugate vaccine will be used in the study. This vaccine was prequalified by the WHO in December 2017 and has been found to be safe and effective and already licensed in India and Nepal and 20,000 children have already been safely vaccinated in Nepal. 

Speaking about the outcome of the study, Dr Firdausi Qadri, leading the Infectious Diseases Division at icddr,b, who is also the principal investigator of the study said, “It is important to know the level of effectiveness of a vaccine towards a targeted population prior to scaling up nationwide. The study will help us generate evidence about the safety profile of the vaccine and the immunogenicity as well duration of protection for Bangladeshi children. It will also lead to impact assessment and determination of the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing typhoid fever, hospitalizations as well as complications in children. It will also hopefully generate evidence that may lead to inclusion in the routine immunization programme.”

Other collaborating institutes include the University of Oxford, UK, the University of Maryland, USA, and PATH and the study is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

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