Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and Shigella, leading causes of bacterial diarrhea, are among the top five pathogens causing moderate-to-severe diarrhea among children in Africa and South Asia.1 Vaccines to protect against ETEC and Shigella are currently under development.
Infections from Shigella, which causes dysentery, and ETEC are typically caused by contaminated food or water. Illness can lead to dehydration and malnutrition, as well as impaired physical and cognitive development in young children.2 In low-resource countries, where access to medical care is often limited and inappropriate use of antibiotics is strengthening bacterial pathogens, vaccines to prevent ETEC and Shigella hold dramatic potential.3
PATH is collaborating with private- and public-sector partners to advance safe, effective, and affordable vaccines against ETEC and Shigella. We’re pursuing a wide range of approaches to bring at least one vaccine candidate for each pathogen to late-stage development. We have also identified a highly promising vaccine component that we plan to test with several vaccine candidates. Finally, to ensure that ETEC and Shigella vaccines reach all children who need them, we are assessing manufacturing partners, mostly in emerging countries, to take on the eventual manufacture and distribution of these vaccines.
1 Kotloff KL, Nataro JP, Blackwelder WC, et al. Burden and aetiology of diarrhoeal disease in infants and young children in developing countries (the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, GEMS): a prospective, case-control study. The Lancet. 2013 [early online publication].
2 Niehaus MD, Moore SR, Patrick PD, et al. Early childhood diarrhea is associated with diminished cognitive function 4 to 7 years later in children in a northeast Brazilian shantytown. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2002;66(5):590–593.
3 Walker RI, Van De Verg LL, Hall RH, Schmitt CK, Woo K, Hale V. Enteric vaccines for pediatric use. Workshop summary. Vaccine. 2005;23(46-47):5432–5439.
Photo: PATH/Amy MacIver