Vaccine developed that may prevent traveler's diarrhea

Researchers at the University of Cambridge recently developed an oral vaccine to prevent traveler's diarrhea, which plagues some 10 million people around the world annually.

Traveler's diarrhea causes both upset stomach and diarrhea for its victims. Researchers hope the new vaccine, which targets one of the most common causes of upset stomach and typhoid, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, will bring relief to suffers, Fierce Vaccines reports.

In order to produce the pilot vaccine, researchers placed a piece of DNA into Salmonella bacteria to trick the immune system into thinking ETEC was present. The bacteria was then dehydrated and placed into a gelatin capsule with powdered resin to prevent its digestion. Bile will then be absorbed by the resin, rehydrating the body and inducing an immune response.

"The vaccine we have produced is a powder so it is very stable and does not need to be kept in cold storage or carries any of the problems associated with needles," Nigel Slater, who led the study, said, according to Fierce Vaccines. "If you were going away for a holiday or on business to India or another country where these diseases are known you would just need to swallow a capsule."

Prokarium, a biotech company in the United Kingdom, has licensed the oral-delivery technology from the University of Cambridge. Clinical trials are expected to start later this year.