Prevention of typhoid fever in Nepal with the Vi capsular polysaccharide of Salmonella typhi. A preliminary report

I L Acharya, C U Lowe, R Thapa, V L Gurubacharya, M B Shrestha, M Cadoz, D Schulz, J Armand, D A Bryla, B Trollfors
New England Journal of Medicine 1987 October 29, 317 (18): 1101-4
We conducted a pilot study followed by a large clinical trial in Nepal of the use of the capsular polysaccharide of Salmonella typhi (Vi) as a vaccine to prevent typhoid fever. In the pilot study, involving 274 Nepalese, there were no significant side effects of the Vi vaccine; about 75 percent responded with a rise in serum antibodies of fourfold or more. In the clinical trial, residents of five villages were given intramuscular injections of either Vi or, as a control, pneumococcus vaccine dispensed in coded, randomly arranged, single-dose syringes. There were 6907 participants, of whom 6438 were members of the target population (5 to 44 years of age); each was visited every two days. Those with temperatures of 37.8 degrees C or higher for three consecutive days were examined and asked to give blood for culture. Typhoid was diagnosed as either blood culture-positive or clinically suspected on the basis of bradycardia, splenomegaly, and fever, with a negative blood culture. Seventeen months after vaccination, the codes were broken for the 71 patients meeting the criteria for either culture-positive or clinically suspected typhoid. The attack rate of typhoid was 16.2 per 1000 among the controls and 4.1 per 1000 among those immunized with Vi (P less than 0.00001). The efficacy of Vi was 72 percent in the culture-positive cases, 80 percent in the clinically suspected cases, and 75 percent in the two groups combined. These data provide evidence that Vi antibodies confer protection against typhoid. Surveillance continues to determine the duration of Vi-induced immunity.

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