Indian pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech says it has
developed the world's first clinically proven typhoid vaccine giving long-term
protection to infants and adults.
Typhoid fever causes between 250 000 and 600 000 deaths a
year and makes 20 million people a year ill. Around 90% of typhoid deaths occur
in Asia and the disease occurs mainly in children under age five, the World
Health Organization says.
It is caused by Salmonella Typhi, a highly virulent and invasive
bacterium, which is transmitted through food or drink contaminated by the faeces
or urine of infected people.
"Bharat Biotech's Typbar-TCV(TM) (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 on Monday.
"We hope this vaccine will reach millions of people and
help reduce the burden of this devastating disease in infants and
children. "The Hyderabad-based company said 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.
It said currently available typhoid vaccines fell short in
two major areas, namely long-term protection and protection for children below
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,"
said Dr Christian Loucq, director-general of the International Vaccine
"One of the most cost-effective approaches to prevent
infectious diseases are vaccines which are available now and could help control
the disease, resulting in reduction of unnecessary suffering and adverse
"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