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C. Diff Vaccine Shows Promise

Vaccine to Prevent Infection With Diarrhea Bug Passes Early Hurdle

Antibodies Rise After C. Diff Shot continued...

Among the findings:

  • At two months, everyone aged 18 to 55 and older people who got the highest dose showed immunity to toxin A in the form of at least a fourfold increase in C. diff antibodies.

"We used that as a [measure] because up to 60% of Americans have antibodies due to exposure at some point in their lives," Foglia says.

  • Also, 75% of the younger adults had at least a fourfold increase in antibodies against toxin B at two months. By two weeks later, 75% of the older adults showed such an increase.
  • At eight months, antibody levels against both toxins were higher than at the start of the study, no matter what a person's age or what dose was received. But they were no longer four times higher.
  • No one who got placebo had an increase in antibodies at any point in the studies.

C. Diff Vaccine: Moving Forward

One big issue moving forward will be figuring out when to give the vaccine, Garey says. It takes much longer to mount the antibody response than to get the disease, he says.

Although it's too early to know how much the vaccine will cost, a computer model by other researchers showed that a vaccine would be cost-effective for the prevention of C. diff in high-risk patients and also for the prevention of recurrent C. diff, Foglia says.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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