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Cholera vaccine trial promising

22nd November 2006

Trials of a live oral cholera vaccine carried out among Bangladeshi children have shown that it is safe, paving the way for further tests.

The vaccine - Peru-15 - was tested on 240 children between 9 months and 5 years of age by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research in Dhaka.

The team tested two strengths of the vaccine prepared from a weakened and genetically engineered form of the El Tor Inaba strain of cholera that is currently circulating in South Asia.

Children were given either a strong vaccine dose, a weak dose, or a placebo. Those vaccinated showed no adverse effects, and those given a higher dose showed a correspondingly higher immune response.

Developing countries are badly in need of an orally administered vaccine easy to give to infants, researchers say.

Cholera causes severe diarrhoea and if left untreated can lead to severe dehydration and death. It kills tens of thousands of people worldwide every year - mostly in developing countries - due to poor water infrastructure.

 

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