Prevention of Typhoid Fever by Existing Improvements in Household Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, and the Use of the Vi Polysaccharide Typhoid Vaccine in Poor Urban Slums: Results from a Cluster-Randomized Trial


Justin Im, Farhana Khanam, Faisal Ahmmed, Deok Ryun Kim, Sophie Kang, Birkneh Tilahun Tadesse, Fahima Chowdhury, Tasnuva Ahmed, Asma Binte Aziz, Masuma Hoque, Md Taufiqul Islam, Juyeon Park, Xinxue Liu, Dipika Sur, Gideok Pak, Hyon Jin Jeon, Khalequ Zaman, Ashraful Islam Khan, Firdausi Qadri, Florian Marks, Jerome H Kim, John D Clemens


Modest improvements in household water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and typhoid vaccination can reduce typhoid risk in endemic settings. However, empiric evaluation of their combined impact is lacking. A total of 62,756 persons residing in 80 clusters in a Kolkata slum were allocated randomly 1:1 to either the typhoid Vi polysaccharide (ViPS) vaccine or hepatitis A (Hep A) vaccine. Surveillance was conducted for 2 years before and 2 years after vaccination. We classified households as having “better” or “not better” WASH, and calculated the prevalence of better WASH households in clusters using previously validated criteria. We evaluated the protection by better household WASH, better household WASH prevalence, and ViPS vaccination against typhoid in all cluster members present at baseline using Cox proportional hazard models. Overall, ViPS vaccination was associated with a 55% (P < 0.001; 95% CI, 35-69) reduction of typhoid risk and was similar regardless of better WASH in the residence. Living in a better WASH household was associated with a typhoid risk reduction of 31% (P = 0.16; 95% CI, -16 to 59) overall. The reduction was 48% (P = 0.05; 95% CI, -1 to 73) in Hep A clusters, 6% (P = 0.85; 95% CI, -82 to 51) in ViPS clusters, and 57% (P < 0.05; 95% CI, 15-78) in the population during the 2 years preceding the trial. These findings demonstrate a preventive association of better household WASH in the non-ViPS population, but, unexpectedly, an absence of additional protection from ViPS by better WASH in the ViPS population. This analysis highlights the importance of assessing the combination of WASH in conjunction with typhoid vaccines, and has implications for the evaluation of new-generation typhoid conjugate vaccines.

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