Traveler's Diarrhea Vaccine for Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)

Vanderbilt researchers are developing a novel vaccine for preventing enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infection of the gut which causes traveler’s diarrhea and childhood death in developing countries.  The vaccine uses colonization surface antigens and their constituent proteins to generate an immune response.  This prevents infection by blocking the ability of bacteria to adhere to the intestinal mucosa.  Mice treated with this vaccine showed significantly reduced disease and bacterial colonization compared to control.  Preclinical development of this vaccine is ongoing and includes testing of different adjuvants and routes of administration.  ETEC is a leading cause of gastrointestinal disease in developing countries affecting both residents and visitors.  Residents in particular are primarily children who suffer high morbidity and mortality from the dehydrating effects of the illness.  Visitors include the approximately 800 – 1000 million people who travel to developing countries each year with 20 – 60 % of them developing this illness.  A commercially available vaccine to inoculate residents and travelers against ETEC would represent a significant opportunity to satisfy an unmet need and improve human health.

Licensing Contact

Jody Hankins

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