Invasive Escherichia coli disease (known as IED) is very dangerous and, at times, can be life threatening. It is caused by Escherichia coli., or its abbreviated name “E. Coli.” E. coli is frequently found in the gastrointestinal tract., which includes the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. The bacteria can also enter the urinary tract, causing a urinary tract infection, or “UTI.” These infections can then, at times, spread to the bloodstream. When it spreads, thought he blood, to other places in the body it is called an invasive infection.
This form of E.coli is usually contracted through eating contaminated foods, and it is significantly more dangerous for adults that are 60 years and older.
Symptoms of E.coli can include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and low fever. The most telling symptoms for E. coli is significant amounts of blood in the diarrhea. These symptoms can last between days and two weeks if constrained to the GI tract. If it enters the blood, additional, more serious symptoms can arise, the the onset of sepsis. Many food safety experts recommend consumers contact a doctor if you have diarrhea for more than three days straight ot identify significant amounts of blood during episodes of diarrhea.
Researchers Looking at A Vaccine for Invasive E. coli Disease
The vaccine under review will be tested on adults ages 60 and older that have histories of urinary tract infections. Women who are involved in the study must be post-menopause, sterile, or have no means to get pregnant in any way. The study will be a double blind experiment, meaning the participants in the study will not know if they received the treatment or a placebo, and the researchers also do not know which participants received the treatment and which participants received the placebo. A placebo is a pill or substance that has no real effect on the consumer. It is used for testing new drugs. They do this to compare results from the people receiving the vaccine to the people receiving the placebo. The double blind portion of the experiment guarantees that the researchers cannot form biased results.
Nearly 20,000 adults over the age of 60 with histories of urinary tract infections are participating in this study. It is worldwide. The vaccine is named ExPEC9V. Half of the participants will receive the vaccine, the other half will receive the placebo.
Over the course of a three year period, the participants will be observed. They will visit the clinic twice in person, and they will meet virtually six times with the researchers. The researchers will determine the following after receiving the results of the study. They are determining if there are any side effects to the vaccine, and if it is safe, how well the participants tolerate it, how long the vaccine’s effects last, and how the body’s immune system reacts to the vaccine.
If this vaccine is effective, it has the potential to protect the lives of many people over the age of 60 from contracting IED. This vaccine is aimed at the elderly because their immune systems are weaker than younger adults, and if they have a history of urinary infections, it can increase the risk of fatality.