Although many people in industrialized countries think of typhoid fever as a
scourge of bygone times, the disease strikes more than 16 million people worldwide
every year. Adults immunized with the best available vaccines still face a 30
percent risk of contracting typhoid if they come into contact with Salmonella
typhi, the bacterium that causes the disease. The vaccines impart even weaker
protection to young children.
A study of Vietnamese children 2 to 5 years old now provides the best showing ever
for a typhoid vaccine, says study coauthor Feng Ying C. Lin, a pediatrician at the
National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Bethesda, Md.
The new vaccine can slash typhoid risk after contact with the pathogen to less
than 10 percent.
Beginning in 1997, Lin and her colleagues gave 11,091 children living in a