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The Oxford Vaccine Group, part of the University of Oxford Department of Paediatrics, have been successful in gaining funding from the European Vaccine Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for new research into Salmonella Paratyphii.

The group, who are based in the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine on the Churchill Hospital site, are pleased that this major new funding allows them to launch a new study with the aim of advancing the scientific knowledge of paratyphoid disease and the effect this has on the human immune system in the hope of finding an effective vaccine in the near future.

Salmonella Paratyphi infections cause symptoms similar to typhoid fever, which is becoming an increasing problem in developing countries, particularly in Asia. Although very rare in the UK it can be picked up by travelers in these countries. Paratyphoid infection is responsible for over five million infections each year, mostly affecting children. Although the disease can be treated with antibiotics and could be prevented with access to clean water and sanitation facilities there are still many deaths each year. Despite this a vaccine has not yet been found.

The Oxford Vaccine Group, lead by Professor Andrew Pollard, plan to enrol up to 80 volunteers, who will swallow a drink containing Salmonella Paratyphi bacteria. They will then follow them closely in the subsequent two weeks performing blood, stool (faeces), saliva and urine tests to see how their immune system responds to the bacteria. 

If you are interested in finding out more about this important global health project, visit the study information page.