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Indian firm says its developed world's first clinically proven typhoid vaccine

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 27th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Bharat Biotech, from India says it has developed the world's first clinically proven typhoid vaccine which provides long-term protection to infants and adults. Typhoid fever causes between 250,000 and 600,000 deaths annually and sickens 20 million people each year. Around 90 percent of typhoid deaths occur in Asia. The disease is especially virulent in children five years and younger, the World Health Organization says.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Typhoid is caused by Salmonella Typhi, an invasive bacterium which is transmitted through food or drink contaminated by the feces or urine of infected people.

"Bharat Biotech's Typbar-TCV (vaccine) induces 'T' cell dependent response with much higher antibody levels providing a very high rate of immunity," Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna M. Ella said in a statement.

"We hope this vaccine will reach millions of people and help reduce the burden of this devastating disease in infants and children."

Based in Hyderabad, the company says that this was the world's first clinically proven fourth generation vaccine, providing long-term protection against typhoid to adults and infants of six months and older.

Currently available typhoid vaccines fell short in two major characteristics: long-term protection and protection for children younger than two years of age.

"Typhoid fever remains an important public health challenge in many countries of the world. At present fundamental prevention strategies like improved sanitation, good hygienic practices and access to clean water are still out of reach for many impoverished communities," Christian Loucq, director-general of the International Vaccine Institute said.

"One of the most cost-effective approaches to prevent infectious diseases is vaccines which are available now and could help control the disease, resulting in reduction of unnecessary suffering and adverse financial consequences."

Bharat Biotech said it had begun commercial production of the vaccine in pre-filled syringes and would produce 10 million doses a year, expandable to 50 million doses in the future, which would be available globally.

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