Despite improvements to water quality, sanitation, and the implementation of current prevention and treatment interventions, diarrhea remains a major cause of illness and death, especially among children less than five years of age in the developing world. Rotavirus vaccines have already begun making a real impact on diarrhea, but several more enteric vaccines will be necessary to achieve broader reductions of illness and death. Among the many causes of diarrheal disease, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and Shigella are the two most important bacterial pathogens for which there are no currently licensed vaccines. Vaccines against these two pathogens could greatly reduce the impact of disease caused by these infections. This review describes the approaches to ETEC and Shigella vaccines that are currently under development, including a range of both cellular and subunit approaches for each pathogen. In addition, the review discusses strategies for maximizing the potential benefit of these vaccines, which includes the feasibility of co-administration, consolidation, and combination of vaccine candidates, as well as issues related to effective administration of enteric vaccines to infants. Recent impact studies indicate that ETEC and Shigella vaccines could significantly benefit global public health. Either vaccine, particularly if they could be combined together or with another enteric vaccine, would be an extremely valuable tool for saving lives and promoting the health of infants and children in the developing world, as well as potentially providing protection to travelers and military personnel visiting endemic areas.
Keywords: Combined vaccine; Diarrhea; Enterotoxigenic Eschericha coli; Shigella; Vaccine.
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