DAVIS (CBS13) – Researchers at UC Davis say they’re getting close to a vaccine to prevent a food borne illness that can sometimes kill.

Scientists at the UC Davis Center for Comparative Medicine are developing a vaccine against salmonella, the increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacteria, that kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide each year.

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Stephen McSorley is leading the international team of researchers who have fanned out around the world and includes infected children in Africa.

Salmonella kills one in four African children and researchers fear those numbers will rise without a cure.

“To design a vaccine for young kids in Africa that are infected with the salmonated, it’s exactly the same type of salmonella that causes gastroenteritis in the U.S. but happens to cause a more serious infection in African children,” McSorley said.

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The three-year project is close to completion. Researchers at UC Davis are using mice to help develop the shot.

“Our hope is by understanding the immune response in mice at various infections, we can apply that information to human diseases,” explained McSorley. “From that information we can use that to design a new vaccine for salmonella. And we’re not quite there yet, but we’re working towards that.”

The latest research from UC Davis was just published in the National Academy of Sciences.

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Researchers say the study would not have been possible without grants from the National Institute of Health.