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Vaccine for C. difficile is a step closer to the frontline

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The second phase of a clinical study of a novel tactic to beat the most common cause of hospital-acquired infection is to get underway, it was announced earlier this week.

Whereas standard treatment of Clostridium difficile involves the use of antibodies, this trial will investigate the safety and efficacy of using a vaccine.

The trial was launched by the Health Protection Agency and is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur.

Phase IIb of this new vaccine is to be trialled in approximately 600 participants who have acute C. difficile infection, at centres across the UK. They will receive the candidate vaccine in addition to the standard of care antibiotics.

Phase I of the trial of this vaccine, which looked at safety and immunogenicity, was successfully completed in more than 200 participants.

‘Vaccination has the potential to be a very effective strategy to combat gastrointestinal pathologies caused by C.diff. along with better antibiotic stewardship and infection control practices,’ said lead investigator Barry Cookson, director of the laboratory of healthcare associated infections at the HPA.

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