Vaccine for traveler's diarrhea may be within reach

NEW YORK Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:19pm EDT

A surfer rides on the waves during sunset at Tamarindo beach, in Santa Cruz de Guanacaste, 250 miles (402 km) north of San Jose, Costa Rica, April 28, 2008. (REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

A surfer rides on the waves during sunset at Tamarindo beach, in Santa Cruz de Guanacaste, 250 miles (402 km) north of San Jose, Costa Rica, April 28, 2008. (

Credit: Reuters/Juan Carlos Ulate)

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A test vaccine against Campylobacter jejuni, a major cause of traveler's diarrhea, provided protection against infection in mice and monkeys and may ultimately have human application, according to researchers.

In addition to causing diarrhea, C. jejuni is also associated with a number of "important sequelae," including inflammatory bowel disease, senior investigator Dr. Patricia Guerry told Reuters Health. No licensed vaccines for C. jejuni are currently available.

As reported in the March issue of Infection and Immunity, Guerry of the Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, Maryland and colleagues develop a vaccine for C. jejuni and tested it in mice and monkeys challenged with C. jejuni infection. Following vaccination mice demonstrated significant immune response and reduction in disease.

The vaccine also completely protected monkeys from diarrhea caused by C. jejuni.

"We are very excited about these results," said Guerry. She thinks that a vaccine that could protect against various types of C. jejuni is "very feasible."

Her team, Guerry added, has recently obtained funding from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to continue their studies.

SOURCE: Infection and Immunity, March 2009.

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