Global incidence of NTS gastroenteritis in 2010 was estimated at 93 MM cases, approximately 80 MM of which contracted via food-borne transmission. It is estimated that 155,000 deaths in 2010 were due to NTS, which also causes severe invasive bacteremia, referred to as invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease. In both adults and children disease onset usually is a febrile illness, frequently without gastrointestinal symptoms. Symptoms of iNTS are similar to malaria, including fever (>90%) and splenomegaly (>40%) (Sharon M. Tennant, et al.: Nontyphoidal salmonella disease: Current status of vaccine research and development; Vaccine, 2016 Jun 3;34(26):2907-10, Epub 2016 Mar 29)
iNTS has been recorded as a prominent cause of bloodstream infection in African adults and children, with an associated case fatality of 20–25%. The most important risk factors are HIV infection in adults, and malaria, HIV, and malnutrition in children. Multidrug-resistant strains have caused epidemics in several African countries, drive the use of expensive antimicrobial drugs in the poorest health services in the world. This emerging pathogen might therefore have adapted to occupy an ecological and immunological niche provided by HIV, malaria, and malnutrition in Africa (Melita A Gordon et al.: Invasive non-typhoidal salmonella disease: an emerging and neglected tropical disease in Africa; Lancet. Jun 30, 2012; 379(9835): 2489–2499).
The Fondazione Achille Sclavo coordinated the S-AFRIVAC project, participated by the University of Siena and co-financed by the Regione Toscana to help make available more information on the epidemiology of this neglected disease, help progress a bivalent vaccine to clinical trials, and studying the sustainability of its use, opening options for public health strategies to prevent infections and interrupt transmission.
From October 2019 the Fondazione Achille Sclavo is member of the european project “Vacc-iNTS: Advancing a GMMA-based vaccine against invasive non-typhoidal salmonellosis through Phase 1 trial in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa”, aimed at advancing the development of an urgently needed iNTS vaccine by conducting a Phase I clinical study of adults in Europe and Africa.
This is our second goal: develop the first vaccine against Non-Typhoid Salmonellosis, to be brought to fruition for poor countries, mainly in Africa, within the next ten years.