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In this issue:
- A year of vaccines in review
- Dr. Firdausi Qadri, 2021 Ramon Magsaysay recipient
- Virtual conference reflections
- High typhoid burden, highly effective vaccines in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Nepal
- Scientific publications
A year of vaccines in review
After a year defined by vaccines, PATH’s TyVAC Director, Dr. Emmanuel Mugisha, reflects on a remarkable year for typhoid prevention and control. Liberia became the first African country to introduce typhoid conjugate vaccines (TCVs) into their routine immunization program. TyVAC efficacy studies in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Nepal published impressive results that demonstrate that TCVs are safe and protective across diverse settings in Africa and Asia. And importantly, we now have a second WHO prequalified TCV that can be used to protect children against typhoid. The year was filled with new data and research, including publications from the Strategic Typhoid Alliance across Africa and Asia (STRATAA) study. In nearly every way possible, 2021 was the year of the vaccine. But for Dr. Mugisha it’s bigger than COVID vaccines; it’s about maintaining access to routine immunization, including TCV. It is about reaching zero dose children and ensuring they are protected against potentially fatal childhood diseases. Read more about Emmanuel’s review of 2021 and his hopes for the year ahead.
Dr. Firdausi Qadri, 2021 Ramon Magsaysay recipient
Congratulations to Dr. Qadri, a 2021 Ramon Magsaysay recipient. Mentor, teacher, collaborator, trailblazer, and force of nature, Dr. Qadri has dedicated her life to improving the lives of others. This extraordinary and well-deserved honor whole-heartedly encompasses Dr. Qadri’s esteemed career. As an inspiring public health scientist, Dr. Qadri combines insights from immunology and her experience in the field to show the value of vaccines that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives from cholera and typhoid. Dr. Qadri is a testament to what can be accomplished with grit, determination, and a commitment to making the world a better place.
Virtual conference reflections
The 12th International Conference on Typhoid and Other Invasive Salmonelloses brought together more than 400 attendees virtually to share and reflect on the incredible strides made in typhoid prevention and control over the past two years. The conference showcased recent TCV efficacy data, drug-resistance and genomic sequencing research, model predictions of TCV impact and cost effectiveness, TCV introductions, and how to continue to prioritize typhoid research and control amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. The conference featured diverse panels and presenters, reflecting the global community that is focused on carrying forward the momentum of recent progress while also developing and driving innovative solutions and strategies to help address key challenges ahead. Presentations will be available online for six months.
TyVAC researchers also presented at the Annual Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conference, held virtually in November. Presentations featured new data on intestinal perforations resulting from delayed treatment for typhoid, as well as data from Malawi on the economic costs resulting from an episode of typhoid.
High typhoid burden, highly effective vaccines in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Nepal
STRATAA recently published its prospective typhoid surveillance study in three urban sites in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Blantyre, Malawi; and Lalitpur, Nepal. This study’s utilization of serological (antibody screening) surveillance revealed potential typhoid burdens 5 to 7 times higher than standard passive surveillance would suggest. The findings underscore the enormous and likely undercounted burden of typhoid in all three countries. Concurrently, these three high-burden sites are also the sites for the TyVAC TCV efficacy studies. The studies – recently published results – report 85% efficacy in Bangladesh, 84% efficacy in Malawi, and 79% efficacy in Nepal against blood culture-confirmed typhoid fever. Together, these findings highlight the enormous benefits TCVs could bring to these and other countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.