BALTIMORE, MD., March 6 — Each year there are nearly 11 million cases of typhoid, a disease that is spread through contaminated food, drink and water. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine are leading an international consortium that is studying the impact of a typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) in an effort to accelerate introduction of the vaccine in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia where there is a high burden of typhoid.
In a supplement published by Clinical Infectious Diseases, Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD) at UMSOM, underscores the importance of introducing a TCV, while outlining the challenges in accelerating wide use of the vaccine in typhoid-endemic countries.
“In the past year, policy and financing milestones have paved the way for the introduction TCVs. In this supplement, collaborators from around the globe detail efforts and provide data to inform country-level decisions on vaccine introduction as a critical part of public health interventions to decrease typhoid disease,” said Dr. Neuzil, who is leading the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC), an international group of researchers with a mission to accelerate the introduction of TCV in low-income countries.
The special TyVAC journal supplement, edited by Dr. Neuzil, Dr. Andrew Pollard of Oxford University and Dr. Anthony Marfin of PATH, brings together the body of research conducted by TyVAC to date, as well as additional research from other research partners. The research underscores the challenges of typhoid surveillance, the growing resistance to antibiotics and the increasing numbers of typhoid outbreaks in the most vulnerable low-resources settings.
“The growing threat of typhoid necessitates a global effort that includes preventative measures such as vaccines and improved waster, sanitation, and hygiene.,” said Dr. Neuzil.
In the supplement, TyVAC researchers detail clinical trials that are underway in Nepal, Bangladesh, Malawi, and Burkina Faso. They highlight the health economics of the disease, the growing concerns of drug resistance, and the cost-effectiveness of mass campaigns of a vaccine.
Release of the supplement comes as TyVAC researchers in addition to several UMSOM disease experts in the CVD will present their research in Hanoi, Vietnam on March 26-28 at the 11th International Conference on Typhoid and Other Salmonelloses. Dr. Neuzil is a keynote speaker at this event.
“This research led by Dr. Kathleen Neuzil demonstrates the impact our work at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has across the globe. It will help inform global vaccine policymakers in settings where diseases like typhoid are a serious threat,” said UMSOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor.
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world — with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and more than $530 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu.
About the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium
The Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC), a partnership between the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford, and PATH, an international nonprofit, aims to accelerate the introduction of new typhoid conjugate vaccines (TCVs) as part of an integrated approach to reducing the burden of morbidity and mortality from typhoid in countries eligible for support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi). It is funded by the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation.