A new study has found that oral typhoid vaccines may be able to tackle other infections.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial bloodstream infection that is caused by Salmonella Typhi. Close to 18 million people are affected by the disease. It is also responsible for approximately 190,000 deaths every year around the world.
For the study, researchers vaccinated 16 participants with the Ty21a vaccine. The team examined the immune responses targeting Salmonella, as well as other pathogens. The results showed Ty21a can strengthen the immune response.
This is the first study to show a 'non-specific' immune response that is caused by the live oral typhoid vaccine Ty21a. Previous research has found that certain live-attenuated vaccines can cause the human immune system to trigger a wider protective response and reduce all-cause mortality.
"Live-attenuated Salmonella vaccines are low-cost, well-tolerated and easily administered. These vaccines could potentially be included in global vaccination programmes, not just for their impact on Salmonella, but also for their off-target, non-specific beneficial effects," Shaun Pennington from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK, told a news portal.
Researchers now want to further explore this investigation and examine how children respond to it.
"The next step is to observe whether these responses also occur in children in low-income settings where their impact would be greatest,"Melita Gordon from the University of Liverpool in the UK, told a news portal. Adding,"We'd like to conduct further clinical studies, where we will be able to assess the wider impact of our observations in conferring protection against other common infections, not just Salmonella."
The study's findings were originally published in the journal Science Advances.