Campylobacter species cause an estimated 400-500 million cases of bacterial gastroenteritis per year and represent one of the most important classes of human pathogens contributing to diarrheal disease throughout the world. The economic impact of Campylobacter-associated disease can be substantial, with annual costs in the US alone estimated at up to $5.6 billion. Additional studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between Campylobacter burden and childhood growth stunting, indicating that Campylobacter may be a key factor driving poor childhood growth and development outcomes in low resource settings. In total, these factors underscore why this pathogen is recognized as one of the most important global threats in need of targeted vaccine development.
Despite the clear medical need, there is currently no Campylobacter vaccine available for use in humans. Using our HydroVax-based approach, we have developed a novel inactivated Campylobacter vaccine, demonstrating 87% vaccine efficacy in a natural exposure model among research-housed non-human primates (Quintel et al., submitted for publication). These exciting results provide an important proof-of-concept to support the continued development of this vaccine candidate for prevention of Campylobacter-associated enteric disease in humans.