Strep A kills 500,000 people a year, so why isn’t there a vaccine?


A vaccine for strep A may not be very profitable for pharmaceutical companies and there are technical challenges that make such vaccines difficult to develop, but early-stage clinical trials are underway


| Analysis

16 December 2022

A transmission electron micrograph of Streptococcus pyogenes

A transmission electron micrograph of Streptococcus pyogenes


As of 16 December, at least 19 children have died in the UK in recent months from an invasive infection of strep A bacteria. On a global scale, the bacteria kill more than half a million people each year. Many of these deaths could be prevented by a vaccine – so why don’t we have one?

Strep A is a bacterium known as group A streptococcus, or Streptococcus pyogenes. It is best known for causing a sore throat, so-called strep throat, and scarlet fever. …


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