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J Infect Dis. 1988 Aug;158(2):372-7.

Cross-protection by B subunit-whole cell cholera vaccine against diarrhea associated with heat-labile toxin-producing enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli: results of a large-scale field trial.

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International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka.


The B subunit (BS) of cholera toxin and that of the heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are antigenically similar. We therefore assessed whether a combined cholera toxin BS/whole-cell (BS-WC) oral vaccine against cholera conferred cross-protection against LT-producing ETEC (LT-ETEC) diarrhea in a randomized, double-blind field trial among rural Bangladeshi children and women. The 24,770 persons who ingested two or more doses of BS-WC vaccine were compared with 24,842 controls who took two or more doses of killed whole-cell (WC) oral cholera vaccine. Sixty-seven percent fewer episodes of LT-ETEC diarrhea were noted in the BS-WC group than in the WC group during short-term (three-month) follow-up (P less than .01), but no reduction was evident during the ensuing nine months. Short-term protection was particularly notable against LT-ETEC diarrhea causing life-threatening dehydration (protective efficacy, 86%; P less than .05).

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