In a collaborative effort to address the challenges posed by invasive Salmonella infections, the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) co-hosted a pivotal joint consultation on December 4. This significant gathering took place alongside the 13th International Conference on Typhoid & Other Invasive Salmonelloses in Kigali, Rwanda, and was orchestrated by the iNTS FVVA project team—a collaborative initiative between IVI and WHO, generously sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.
The primary objectives of this consultation were two-fold: firstly, to garner insights and perspectives from key stakeholders and subject-matter experts on various Salmonella combination vaccine options. This information aimed to better inform developers, immunization policy decision-makers, and donors, guiding them toward the most suitable path forward. Secondly, the consultation sought to identify current gaps in understanding the value of, and/or needs for, accelerating the development of the most appropriate Salmonella combination vaccine(s). The intention was to define priorities to address these gaps comprehensively.
Dr. Deborah King, Vaccines Research Lead at the Wellcome Trust, assumed the role of the meeting Chair and opened the event with welcoming remarks. Subsequently, two presentations set the stage for the ensuing group discussions. Dr. Ana Ibarz Pavon from the Department of Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals at WHO provided a high-level overview of invasive Salmonella disease, shedding light on existing gaps that hinder informed decisions about vaccine development strategies. Prof. Calman MacLennan, Senior Program Officer for Bacterial Vaccines at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, followed with a presentation on Salmonella vaccine pipelines and potential Salmonella/Shigella combination options.
The consultation then transitioned into an open discussion, where subject-matter experts delved into pivotal questions covering a spectrum of key issues. These included the advantages of region-specific vaccines based on disease burden, the prioritization of research gaps to maximize the impact of Salmonella vaccines, requirements for immunogenicity versus clinical efficacy data, the role of the Controlled Human Infection Model (CHIM), regulatory perspectives, standardization of immunological assays, and considerations related to marketability, including manufacturing risks and the acceptability of a combination Salmonella vaccine.
This concise consultation served as a prelude to a more in-depth analysis of these critical issues. A follow-up consultation is slated for 2024, where these discussions will continue, paving the way for informed strategies to combat invasive Salmonella infections on a global scale.