A previously healthy 33-year-old Australian male died suddenly and unexpectedly 8 h after a typhoid-cholera vaccination. Such fatalities are extreme rarities and the present case is the first in which postmortem measurement of serum immunoglobulins has been undertaken. The clinical course and necropsy findings suggest that death was the result of a slowly evolving systemic anaphylactic reaction which terminated in hypotension and right heart failure. The deceased was probably atopic. The current recommendations for the vaccination of international travellers against typhoid and cholera are discussed.