Experts discuss typhoid fever at VED Conference

The Coalition against Typhoid, a Sabin Vaccine Institute initiative, convened scientists, biotech experts and researchers last week at the Vaccines for Enteric Diseases Conference in Thailand to discuss typhoid fever-related subjects.

The panelists discussed building general awareness of typhoid fever, increasing understanding of the disease burden, developing and implementing long-term strategies and prioritizing vaccines. The Sabin Vaccine Institute, a non-profit organization of scientists, researchers and vaccine advocates, said that until the capital investments for improved water and sanitation systems arrive in the developing world, vaccines and timely access to adequate healthcare are needed.

"Vaccines are a cost-effective, safe and immediate way to protect the world's most marginalized people suffering from typhoid," Naveen Thacker, the director at Deep Children Hospital and Research Centre in India, said. "The conjugate vaccine is a milestone in typhoid prevention and provides an enhanced ability to improve the lives of school children, adults and especially young children, who have the highest burden of disease."

While the World Health Organization issued recommendations supporting the use of typhoid vaccines more than a decade ago, many endemic countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa have not yet embraced them. Children as young as six months of age can be protected against typhoid using the vaccine.

"To have the greatest impact, typhoid vaccination efforts must be integrated with other intervention strategies such as clinical care and safe water and basic sanitation," Samir Saha, the executive director of the Child Health Research Foundation Bangladesh, said. "But in Asia, a region where typhoid is highly endemic, China, Thailand and Vietnam are the only countries to have done this."

VED Conference panelists for the session on typhoid vaccines came from South Korea, India, the U.S. and the U.K.