The 11th International Conference on Typhoid and Other Invasive Salmonelloses holds in Hanoi, Vietnam and brings together more than 450 researchers, policymakers and advocates dedicated to improving the lives of young children and their families suffering from typhoid, paratyphoid and invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella.
During this three-day conference hosted by the Coalition against Typhoid, a program of the Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin), attendees from more than 40 countries are to discuss the latest research and strategies to take on enteric fever, with the goal of translating recent global advancements into local impact for prevention and control at the community level.
“This year, we have a record-breaking number of researchers represented from all around the world,” said Dr Denise Garrett, Sabin’s vice president of Typhoid Programs and director of the Coalition against Typhoid. “This clearly reflects the urgency we all feel to move forward on the path toward elimination of this ancient disease. I hope the discussions at this conference will channel the energy we have seen on the international stage to accelerate vaccination access and uptake at the local level.”
Typhoid continues to cause an estimated 11 million cases and more than 116,000 deaths annually, largely affecting children in low-income communities in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
“This conference is a rare opportunity for researchers in the field of typhoid and related diseases to share their research and learn from each other,” said Dr. Anita Zaidi, director of the Vaccine Development, Surveillance, and Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Only by learning from one another and coordinating our efforts will we be able to control typhoid as a significant threat to health around the world.”
Prevention is more urgent than ever, with widespread antimicrobial resistance making the disease harder to treat. A recent outbreak of extensively drug-resistant typhoid in Pakistan exhibited resistance to five antibiotics, leaving only one oral antibiotic available for treatment.
Since the last conference in 2017, significant strides in global policy have paved the way for accelerated progress against enteric fever, beginning with the World Health Organization (WHO) prequalifying and subsequently recommending the use of typhoid conjugate vaccines.
This is the first step toward protecting children as young as six months of age through routine immunization. Helping to ensure access to these vaccines for low-income countries, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), committed $85 million in 2018 to support their introduction.
Countries have begun to submit applications for Gavi support for routine immunization. Already, this life-saving intervention has been used for typhoid prevention and outbreak control in settings such as India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
“WHO and Gavi have taken the first step required for global typhoid prevention,” said Amy Finan, Sabin’s chief executive officer. “With our progress against typhoid being threatened by rising antimicrobial resistance, the time to take action at the country and community level is now. During the next three days, we will be laying the groundwork for a coordinated prevention and control strategy to protect the millions of children who are most at risk of typhoid.”
Organized with the generous support of Bharat Biotech, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IDL Biotech and the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC), the 2019 conference is being held in Vietnam, a country that has demonstrated its commitment to controlling and preventing typhoid through intensive and targeted vaccination campaigns.
“I thank the organizers of the 11th International Conference on Typhoid and Other Invasive Salmonelloses for choosing Vietnam as the site for the crucial discussions that will help achieve global control of this disease,” said Dr Dang Duc Anh, director of Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.