New surveillance network seeks to evaluate impact of enteric fever in Asia

WASHINGTON, D.C. — December 16, 2014 — The Sabin Vaccine Institute, through the Coalition against Typhoid (CaT) Secretariat, announced today that it has received an award of approximately US $5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the establishment of an Asia regional enteric fever surveillance network. The network will enable the systematic collection of data in order to fill knowledge gaps on the impact of severe typhoid and paratyphoid — diseases collectively referred to as enteric fever.

Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease most prevalent among young children in south-central and Southeast Asia. While the burden of typhoid is likely underestimated, it is reported to kill 200,000 people and infect more than 21 million people annually. Globally, the lack of effective typhoid diagnosis and surveillance often leads to misdiagnosis, inappropriate treatment and management of typhoid infections, contributing to unnecessary illness and death. Improved typhoid estimates are essential to saving lives and building the case for the adoption of new and more effective typhoid vaccines.

To address this issue, CaT, a global forum of health and immunization experts from over 30 organizations, is working to expedite evidence-based decisions regarding the use of new typhoid vaccines to prevent enteric fever. While vaccines are currently available, many are costly and ineffective in reaching the young children and vulnerable communities who need them most. 

“The support that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing to the Sabin Vaccine Institute clearly reinforces the need for increased vaccine advocacy, especially since it is an excellent opportunity to fast track access to typhoid vaccines,” said Jon Andrus, Executive Vice President and Director of Sabin’s Vaccine Advocacy and Education program. “For us, it also highlights the importance of high quality data to support scalable solutions for today’s most important health priorities.”

The Asia regional enteric fever surveillance network will collect data on enteric fever incidence, mortality, complications (intestinal perforation, etc.), hospitalization rates, and clinical outcome differences between drug-sensitive and drug-resistant Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi) and Salmonella Paratyhi (S. Paratyphi). The proposed project will include a surveillance network in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Pakistan, and will be carried out in two phases over a period of three years.

“CaT is very pleased to receive support from the foundation in our efforts to improve regional data estimates on the burden of disease,” said Imran Khan, Director of the Coalition against Typhoid. “The Asia regional enteric fever surveillance network will be critical in guiding the introduction of typhoid vaccines in highly endemic countries.”

About CaT

The Coalition against Typhoid (CaT) is a global forum of health and immunization experts working to expedite and sustain rational, evidence-based decisions at the global, regional, national and municipal levels regarding the use of typhoid vaccines to prevent enteric fever. CaT aims to define barriers to the adoption of typhoid vaccines in communities that would benefit most and the key activities that are needed to overcome them.

About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) worldwide. Sabin develops new vaccines, advocates for increased use of existing vaccines and promotes expanded access to affordable medical treatments in collaboration with governments, academic institutions, scientists, medical professionals and non-profit organizations. For more information please visit www.sabin.org.

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