Kathleen M. Neuzil
The Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium, or TyVAC, recently launched a trial assessing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the new typhoid conjugate vaccine, Typbar-TCV, among children in Malawi.
It is the first time that the typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) has been introduced in Africa, according to a press release. WHO prequalified the vaccine late last year, stating that Typbar-TCV (Bharat Biotech) offers longer lasting immunity against typhoid fever — a bloodstream infection caused by Salmonella Typhi — than older vaccines and with fewer doses, and it can be administered with routine childhood vaccination. The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization recommends routine TCV immunization in children aged older than 6 months who live in typhoid-endemic countries.
“We are excited and honored to be part of this historical moment — a first for Africa and a critical step in the fight to ‘Take on Typhoid,’” Kathleen M. Neuzil, MD, MPH, Infectious Disease News Editorial Board member and chief investigator of TyVAC, said in the release. “Our partners in Malawi have worked tirelessly to prepare for this study that will collect essential data in endemic settings with a high typhoid burden.”
According to the most recent estimates, 12 million illnesses and more than 128,000 deaths are attributed to typhoid fever worldwide. However, the emergence of a multidrug-resistant strain in Africa known as H58 has led to an increase in cases.
For the new TyVAC study in Malawi, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, researchers will vaccinate approximately 24,000 children 9 months to 12 years of age from low-income townships of Blantyre.
“This clinical trial is the culmination of over 20 years of research focused on Salmonella disease here in Malawi,” Melita Gordon, MD, FRCP, DTM&H, professor at the University of Liverpool and the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Program, said in the release. “Our teams of health care workers, our local scientists and our longstanding partners in the Malawi Ministry of Health and College of Medicine are tremendously excited to see the impact our research could finally have for health. We’re ready to go, and really feel like Africa is watching us, with hope.”
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Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Millions of children set to be protected against typhoid fever. http://www.gavi.org/library/news/press-releases/2017/millions-of-children-set-to-be-protected-against-typhoid-fever. Accessed February 26, 2018.
Infectious Disease News was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.