One-third of the world’s population is at risk of contracting typhoid.

This week immunization experts from around the world will gather in Geneva to review new evidence and discuss recommendations for WHO immunization policy. An important item on the agenda for the fall meeting is typhoid vaccines. A recommendation on the use of new typhoid conjugate vaccines (TCVs) could significantly impact the effort to reduce the global burden of typhoid, a disease that impacts nearly 12 million people a year.

In South Asia, where the burden of enteric fever is thought to be highest, most typhoid studies have focused on urban areas. As a result, researchers have been unsure how well available data could be extrapolated to predominantly rural areas.

New typhoid conjugate vaccines offer important advantages over prior vaccines, including the ability to protect young children, longer lasting protection, and the potential to be a part of routine immunization of infants.

Investigators from the Aga Khan University (AKU) are actively investigating a large outbreak of typhoid fever bacteria that are resistant to ceftriaxone, an antibiotic commonly used by physicians to treat this infection.

This is Gul Rahim’s story of typhoid, as told to Attaullah Baig of Aga Khan University Hospital on January 7, 2017, and translated into English. The interview was conducted in Urdu and has been edited for clarity and length.

More than 300 researchers from 45 countries gathered in Kampala, Uganda in early April for the 10th International Conference on Typhoid and Other Invasive Salmonelloses.

For years, little was known of the typhoid burden in Africa, even though outbreaks of multi-drug resistant typhoid is becoming increasingly common. This lack of information spurred the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the Typhoid Fever Surveillance in Africa Program (TSAP) through the International Vaccine Institute, a first-of-its-kind study established to shed light on true extent of the typhoid burden and multi-drug resistance distribution on the continent. The results from the TSAP, recently published in the Lancet Global Health, represent the most comprehensive and rigorous analysis of typhoid in Africa and could change our understanding of the disease burden across the continent.

Diseases

The Sabin Vaccine Institute works to extend the benefits of immunization to all people by enabling vaccine access and uptake. Sabin brings together national government officials, policy makers, immunization specialists, researchers and advocates to supply decision makers with the data and expertise they need to make evidence-based decisions on vaccines. Our work includes a number of diseases, including:

Typhoid Research & Advocacy

One-third of the world’s population is at risk of contracting typhoid, a systemic bacterial infection spread through contaminated food and water that kills an estimated 128,000 people each year, primarily children in low-income countries. Caused by the bacteria Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (S. Typhi), typhoid is an acute illness that is often misdiagnosed because its symptoms – prolonged fever, headache, nausea, constipation, loss of appetite and diarrhea – are so common.

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