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Vi-polysaccharide conjugate vaccines are efficacious against typhoid fever in children living in endemic settings, their recent deployment is a promising step in the control of typhoid fever. However, there is currently no accepted correlate of protection. IgG and IgA antibodies generated in response to Vi conjugate or Vi plain polysaccharide vaccination are important but there are no definitive protective titre thresholds. We adapted a luminescence-based serum bactericidal activity (SBA) for use with S. Typhi and assessed whether bactericidal antibodies induced by either Vi tetanus toxoid conjugate (Vi-TT) or Vi plain polysaccharide (Vi-PS) were associated with protection in a controlled human infection model of typhoid fever. Both Vi-PS and Vi-TT induced significant increase in SBA titre after 28 days (Vi-PS; p < 0.0001, Vi-TT; p = 0.003), however higher SBA titre at the point of challenge did not correlate with protection from infection or reduced symptom severity. We cannot eliminate the role of SBA as part of a multifactorial immune response which protects against infection, however, our results do not support a strong role for SBA as a mechanism of Vi vaccine mediated protection in the CHIM setting.

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SBA, Vi vaccination, conjugate vaccine, correlates of protection, enteric fever, luminescence