The University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Vaccine Development has been awarded a $36.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote vaccines for typhoid fever, which kills a quarter million people a year worldwide.
The money will go toward the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium, a partnership with the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford and PATH, a global health organization based in Seattle.
The groups will work with governments and policymakers to introduce vaccines in developing countries with high levels of typhoid in hopes of reducing the health and economic consequences of the disease. Typhoid vaccines are underused in developing countries.
Typhoid fever is spread by contaminated food and water. Symptoms include lasting high fevers, weakness, stomach pains, headache, and loss of appetite, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It can also lead to internal bleeding and death.
Dense population and poor sanitation and water quality can create an environment where typhoid can easily spread.
"Typhoid fever disproportionately impacts children and poor populations," Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, director of Center for Vaccine Development, said in a statement. "With our long history of work in typhoid and typhoid vaccines, we look forward to working with partners to catalyze action against this significant public health problem."