MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Shanchol oral cholera vaccine may aid global control effort

Oral cholera vaccine may transform cholera global control work | Courtesy of medicalexpo.com
The first real-life trial of Shanchol, an oral cholera vaccine that is part of regular health services, recently showed that it effectively protects people against contracting cholera, which may help health officials in their global control efforts, researchers said Wednesday.

The trial results, which were published in The Lancet, shows that it provides adequate protection for adults and children in urban Bangladesh, an area where severe cholera is endemic. These findings support using the vaccine with other routine mass vaccinations to maintain control over cholera outbreaks in endemic countries.

"Our findings show that a routine oral cholera vaccination program in cholera-endemic countries could substantially reduce the burden of disease and greatly contribute to cholera control efforts,” International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Center for Vaccine Sciences Director Firdausi Qadri said. Qadri was the lead author of the study. “The vaccine is cheap, two doses cost $3.70 (U.S.), around a third of the price of the other licensed vaccine Dukoral. 

"Ultimately, the key to controlling cholera is clean water and adequate sanitation, which half the developing world (approximately 2.5 billion people) lack, but this remains a rather difficult reality for the world's poorest nations as well as those affected by climate change, war, and natural disasters,” Qadri said.

The vaccine was given in two doses over a 14 day period.

"Ongoing monitoring to assess the duration of protection should be an essential component of any mass vaccination program, to inform the need for booster doses and to evaluate intervention cost-effectiveness. ...Furthermore, oral cholera vaccine is only one part of the larger program needed to control cholera,”  Maureen O'Leary and Kim Mulholland of  the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in London said. “It should not supersede efforts to reduce risky behaviors and to improve sanitation and provide safe drinking water to people living in cholera-endemic areas."