Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi strain CVD 908-htrA is a live attenuated strain which may be useful as an improved oral typhoid vaccine and as a vector for cloned genes of other pathogens. We conducted a phase 2 trial in which 80 healthy adults received one of two dosage levels of CVD 908-htrA in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. There were no differences in the rates of side effects among volunteers who received high-dose vaccine (4.5 x 10(8) CFU), lower-dose vaccine (5 x 10(7) CFU), or placebo in the 21 days after vaccination, although recipients of high-dose vaccine (8%) had more frequent diarrhea than placebo recipients (0%) in the first 7 days. Seventy-seven percent and 46% of recipients of high- and lower-dose vaccines, respectively, briefly excreted vaccine organisms in their stools. All blood cultures were negative. Antibody-secreting cells producing antilipopolysaccharide (LPS) immunoglobulin A (IgA) were detected in 100 and 92% of recipients of high- and lower-dose vaccines, respectively. Almost half the volunteers developed serum anti-LPS IgG. Lymphocyte proliferation and gamma interferon production against serovar Typhi antigens occurred in a significant proportion of vaccinees. This phase 2 study supports the further development of CVD 908-htrA as a single-dose vaccine against typhoid fever and as a possible live vector for oral delivery of other vaccine antigens.