Journal article Open Access

Development of Vi conjugate – a new generation of typhoid vaccine

Szu, Shousun Chen

Typhoid fever remains to be a serious disease burden worldwide with an estimated annual incidence about 20 million. The licensed vaccines showed moderate protections and have multiple deficiencies. Most important of all, none of the licensed typhoid vaccines demonstrated protection for children under 5 years old. These limitations impeded successful implementation of typhoid vaccination programs. To improve immunogenicity Vi was conjugated to rEPA, a recombinant exoprotein A from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Vi-rEPA showed higher and longer lasting anti-Vi IgG in adults and children than Vi alone in high endemic areas. In school-age children and adults, the immunity persisted more than 8 years. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled and randomized efficacy trial in 2- to 5-year-old children, Vi-rEPA conferred 89% protective efficacy against typhoid fever and the protection lasted at least 4 years. When given concomitantly with infant routine vaccines, Vi-rEPA was safe, immunogenic and showed no interference with the routine vaccines. Vi conjugate vaccine was also attempted and successfully demonstrated by several other laboratories and manufactures. Using either rEPA or different carrier proteins, such as diphtheria or tetanus toxoid, recombinant diphtheria toxin (CRM197), the Vi conjugates synthesized was significantly more immunogenic than Vi alone. Recently, two Vi-tetanus toxoid conjugates were licensed in India for all ages, starts as young as 3 month old. This new generation of typhoid vaccine opens up a new era for typhoid prevention and elimination.

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