The interplay between WASH practices and vaccination with oral cholera vaccines in protecting against cholera in urban Bangladesh: Reanalysis of a cluster-randomized trial.
Chowdhury F., Aziz AB., Ahmmed F., Ahmed T., Kang SS., Im J., Park J., Tadesse BT., Islam MT., Kim DR., Hoque M., Pak G., Khanam F., McMillan NAJ., Liu X., Zaman K., Khan AI., Kim JH., Marks F., Qadri F., Clemens JD.
The current global initiative to end Cholera by 2030 emphasizes the use of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) combined with feasible household Water-Sanitation-Hygiene (WASH) interventions. However, little is known about how improved WASH practices and behaviors and OCV interact to reduce the risk of cholera. We reanalyzed two arms of a cluster-randomized trial in urban Bangladesh, to evaluate the effectiveness of OCV given as a 2-dose regimen. One arm (30 clusters, n = 94,675) was randomized to vaccination of persons aged one year and older with OCV, and the other arm (30 clusters, n = 80,056) to no intervention. We evaluated the prevention of cholera by household WASH, classified at baseline using a previously validated rule, and OCV over 2 years of follow-up. When analyzed by assignment to OCV clusters rather than receipt of OCV, in comparison to persons living in "Not Better WASH" households in the control clusters, reduction of severe cholera (the primary outcome) was similar for persons in "Not Better WASH" households in vaccine clusters (46%, 95% CI:24,62), for persons in "Better WASH" households in the control clusters (48%, 95% CI:25,64), and for persons in "Better WASH" households in the vaccine clusters (48%, 95% CI:16,67). In contrast, when analyzed by actual receipt of a complete OCV regimen, , in comparison to persons in "Not Better WASH" households in the control clusters, protection against severe cholera increased steadily from 39% (95% CI:13,58) in residents of "Better WASH" households in the control clusters to 57% (95% CI:35,72) in vaccinated persons in "Not Better WASH" households to 63% (95% CI:21,83) in vaccinated persons in "Better WASH" households. This analysis suggests that improved household WASH and OCV received may interact to provide greater protection against cholera. However, the divergence between findings related to intent to vaccinate versus those pertaining to actual receipt of OCV underscores the need for further research on this topic.