The attenuated Salmonella typhi strain Ty21a is the main constituent of Vivotif®, the only attenuated live oral vaccine against typhoid fever. In comparison with antibiotics, the ‘magic bullets’ which Paul Ehrlich was striving for to treat infectious diseases, this vaccine should be viewed as a ‘magic shield’, because rather than treating typhoid fever after the infection has started, immunisation with this vaccine strain prevents infection and disease by the induction of specific immune responses. Ty21a is also an attractive carrier for the delivery of heterologous antigens. Recently, we successfully used Ty21a for antigen delivery via the haemolysin secretion system of Escherichia coli, which allows efficient protein secretion from the carrier bacteria.

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