A cholera vaccine developed by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) has been recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for use as a protection for U.S. adults traveling to areas with cholera. The CDC’s latest recommendation was published on May 11, in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
“This is a great development in our effort to combat cholera, and I want to congratulate my colleagues at the CVD for their many years of work developing this lifesaving vaccine,” said Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, who is Director of the CVD. Dr. Neuzil served as a liaison representative for the Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the panel that shaped the CDC recommendation.
The CDC’s published recommendation comes less than a year after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016 approved the vaccine. It was invented in the 1980s by Myron M. Levine, MD, DTPH, the Simon and Bessie Grollman Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Global Health, Vaccinology, and Infectious Diseases at UM SOM along with James B. Kaper, PhD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
The vaccine, named Vaxchora, is a single-dose, live-attenuated oral vaccine. It was approved by the FDA for use in adults 18 to 64 years old traveling to regions where cholera is common. PaxVax, a global biotechnology company based in California, received marketing approval from the FDA for the vaccine, and CVD scientists have been working closely with PaxVax since 2009 to develop the vaccine and secure FDA licensure approval.
Cholera is an acute intestinal diarrheal infection acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water. Global cholera cases have increased steadily, impacting millions of people each year. The disease can cause severe dehydration and death in less than 24 hours, if left untreated. In the U.S., the vast majority of cases occur among travelers to areas with epidemic or endemic cholera, such as parts of Africa, Asia, or the Caribbean.
“The CDC’s recommendation further demonstrates that the work by our scientists here at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has had an impact not only nationally, but globally,” said UM SOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also the vice president for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor.
About the Center for Vaccine Development
Since its inception in 1974, the CVD has worked to eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases. The CVD has created and tested vaccines against cholera, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, non-typhoidal salmonella disease, shigellosis (bacillary dysentery), Escherichia coli diarrhea, nosocomial pathogens, tularemia, influenza, and other infectious diseases. Learn more about the CVD.
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 and is the first public medical school in the United States and continues today as an innovative leader in accelerating innovation and discovery in medicine. The School of Medicine is the founding school of the University of Maryland and is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. Located on the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide a research-intensive, academic and clinically based education. With 43 academic departments, centers and institutes and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians and research scientists plus more than $400 million in extramural funding, the School is regarded as one of the leading biomedical research institutions in the U.S. with top-tier faculty and programs in cancer, brain science, surgery and transplantation, trauma and emergency medicine, vaccine development and human genomics, among other centers of excellence. The School is not only concerned with the health of the citizens of Maryland and the nation, but also has a global presence, with research and treatment facilities in more than 35 countries around the world. medschool.umaryland.edu