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Lancet. 1991 Nov 23;338(8778):1285-9.

Prevention of travellers' diarrhoea by oral B-subunit/whole-cell cholera vaccine.

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National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.


B-subunit/whole-cell cholera vaccine (BS-WC) has been shown to give Bangladeshi mothers and children only 3 months' protection against severe diarrhoea due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). Since a long-lasting effect is not necessary for protection against travellers' diarrhoea, a prospective double-blind study was conducted among tourists who went to Morocco from Finland. 307 tourists received two oral doses of BS-WC, whereas 308 controls received a placebo before departure. A research team went out with tourists and a laboratory for enteric pathogens was set up on location. A faecal specimen was taken from 100 randomly selected subjects before departure, from all travellers with diarrhoea, and routinely after return. Enteropathogenic bacteria were not isolated from any of the pre-departure specimens but were present during or after the holiday in 47% of tourists with travellers' diarrhoea, and in 14% of those without diarrhoea. BS-WC induced a 52% protection (p = 0.013) against diarrhoea caused by ETEC. The protection was better for mixed infections (65%, p = 0.016). The protective efficacy against a combination of ETEC and any other pathogen was 71% (p = 0.02), and that against ETEC plus Salmonella enterica even better at 82% (p = 0.01). Partial protection against travellers' diarrhoea is thus obtainable by active immunisation with BS-WC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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