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Disease   Almost 400 deaths annually

Texas team develops oral vaccine against Salmonella

SalmonellaResearchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have developed an oral vaccine against the foodborne pathogen responsible for the most hospitalizations and deaths in the United States.

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It will likely take about five years before the Salmonella vaccine is available to the public, said lead researcher Ashok Chopra, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Salmonella is the second leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States, sickening more than a million people every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Norovirus is the No. 1 cause of foodborne illness in the U.S., with the CDC estimating annual cases at 4.5 million.

However, Salmonella infection is much more serious than norovirus, causing more hospitalizations and deaths — about 19,300 hospitalizations and almost 400 deaths annually — than any other foodborne pathogen in the U.S.

The researchers at the University of Texas previously developed a potential injectable Salmonella vaccine, but oral vaccines are much preferred because they are easier to administer and less invasive than injections.

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