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Vaccine Skin Patch Prevents Travelers' Diarrhea

In addition, people who received the vaccine had shorter episodes of diarrhea -- half a day, compared with more than two days for people who received the placebo patch.

The vaccine is delivered by a patch, because the active ingredient is too toxic to be delivered orally, nasally, or by injection, the researchers noted.

The vaccine still needs to go through a large, phase III trial, Glenn noted. He is hoping the vaccine will be available to the public by 2011.

One expert thinks the patch could be an important advance in preventing travelers' diarrhea.

"This is an important advance in the prevention of travelers' diarrhea. The vaccine is easy to store and administer, and is very well-tolerated," said Dr. Pablo C. Okhuysen, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. "The patch vaccine approach is novel and opens the door for the future development of vaccines for the prevention of diarrheal disease."

More information

For more on travelers' diarrhea, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Gregory Glenn, M.D., IOMAI Corp., Gaithersburg, Md.; Pablo C. Okhuysen, M.D., associate professor, medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Medical School at Houston; June 12, 2008,The Lancet, online

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