Efficacy of typhoid vaccines against culture-confirmed Salmonella Typhi in typhoid endemic countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Rabab Batool, Zoya Haq Qamar, Rehana Abdus Salam, Mohammad Tahir Yousafzai, Per Ashorn, Farah Naz Qamar


Background: Typhoid is a serious public health threat in many low-income and middle-income countries. Several vaccines for typhoid have been recommended by WHO for typhoid prevention in endemic countries. This study aimed to review the efficacy of typhoid vaccines against culture-confirmed Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi.

Methods: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, and Embase for studies published in English between Jan 1, 1986 and Nov 2, 2023. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing typhoid vaccines with a placebo or another vaccine. This meta-analysis evaluated the efficacy and safety of several typhoid vaccines, including live attenuated oral Ty21a vaccine, Vi capsular polysaccharide (Vi-PS), Vi polysaccharide conjugated to recombinant Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A vaccine (Vi-rEPA), and Vi-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (TCV). The certainty of evidence for key outcomes was evaluated using Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations methodology. The outcome of interest was typhoid fever confirmed by the isolation of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi in blood and adverse events following immunisation. This study is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021241043).

Findings: We included 14 RCTs assessing four different vaccines (Ty21a: four trials; Vi-PS: five trials; Vi-rEPA: one trial; TCV: four trials) involving 585 253 participants. All trials were conducted in typhoid endemic countries and the age of participants ranged from 6 months to 50 years. The pooled efficacy against typhoid fever was 45% (95% CI 33-55%; four trials; 247 649 participants; I2 59%; moderate certainty) for Ty21a and 58% (44-69%; five trials; 214 456 participants; I2 34%; moderate certainty) for polysaccharide Vi-PS. The cumulative efficacy of two doses of Vi-rEPA vaccine at 2 years was 91% (88-96%; one trial; 12 008 participants; moderate certainty). The pooled efficacy of a single shot of TCV at 2 years post-immunisation was 83% (77-87%; four trials; 111 130 participants; I2 0%; moderate certainty). All vaccines were safe, with no serious adverse effects reported in the trials.

Interpretation: The existing data from included trials provide promising results regarding the efficacy and safety of the four recommended typhoid vaccines. TCV and Vi-rEPA were found to have the highest efficacy at 2 years post-immunisation. However, follow-up data for Vi-rEPA are scarce and only TCV is pre-qualified by WHO. Therefore, roll-out of TCV into routine immunisation programmes in typhoid endemic settings is highly recommended.

Click here to read the entire article on The Lancet