Javier Ochoa Repáraz defended his PhD thesis at the University of Navarre Faculty of Science on the development of an acellular vaccine aginst Salmonella enteritidis.
This involves a world pandemia considered to be the most importante zoonosis or illness/infection transmissible salmonellosis by animals to humans under natural conditions. It is estimated that the incidence of acute worldwide is more than a thousand million cases per annum and causes three million deaths.
The project developed by Javier Ochoa centred on the investigation of a new vaccine based on the encapsulation of the components of the Salmonella enteritidis cell sheath. The vaccine has shown itself to be efficacious in mice infected with this illness and is currently being employed on experimental farms of Hipra laboratories in Gerona, a compnay involved in the control of pathogens in birds.
Low efficacy of vaccines applied
Farmyard fowl and their derivatives are recognised as the most important source of infection of Salmonella enteritidis in humans. Both the World Health organisation (WHO) and the European Union have laid down guidelines in order to erradicate the infection in fowl, the benefits of this for humans being evident. It is generally accepted that the most practical measure is vaccination, as the easiest to apply and the most economic but, to date, all thos applied have proved to have low efficacy.
In Spain, Salmonella enteritidis is the bacteria that causes 85% of food-provoked gastroenteritis. In the concrete case of Navarre, there were 343 food poisoning cases in 2003, of which 79 were grouped together in 14 outbreaks, 12 due to Salmonella.