The curse of Delhi belly for travelers looking to enjoy exotic holidays may be a thing of the past thanks to researchers at the University of Cambridge, who have come up with a vaccine for the condition.
The new vaccine, which can be swallowed by users targets enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, which is the primary bacteria linked to this disease. Researchers also revealed that the vaccine can offer protection against typhoid as well.
Researchers introduced a small segment of DNA into harmless Salmonella bacteria so that they appear like enterotoxigenic E. coli to the immune system. These bacteria are protected by the acidic environment in the stomach by being mixed with a powdered resin and covered with a gelatin pill capsule. The bacteria are rehydrated when they reach the small intestine and thus induce an immune response.
"The vaccine we have produced is a powder so it is very stable and does not need to be kept in cold storage or carries any of the problems associated with needles," said lead researcher Professor Nigel Slater of the University of Cambridge's department of chemical engineering and biotechnology.