Despite recent large-scale cholera outbreaks, little is known about the immunogenicity of oral cholera vaccines (OCV) in African populations, particularly among those at highest cholera risk. During a 2015 preemptive OCV campaign among internally displaced persons in South Sudan, a year after a large cholera outbreak, we enrolled 37 young children (1-5 years old), 67 older children (6-17 years old) and 101 adults (≥18 years old), who received two doses of OCV (Shanchol) spaced approximately 3 weeks apart. Cholera-specific antibody responses were determined at days 0, 21 and 35 post-immunization. High baseline vibriocidal titers (>80) were observed in 21% of the participants, suggesting recent cholera exposure or vaccination. Among those with titers ≤80, 90% young children, 73% older children and 72% adults seroconverted (≥4 fold titer rise) after the 1st OCV dose; with no additional seroconversion after the 2nd dose. Post-vaccination immunological endpoints did not differ across age groups. Our results indicate Shanchol was immunogenic in this vulnerable population and that a single dose alone may be sufficient to achieve similar short-term immunological responses to the currently licensed two-dose regimen. While we found no evidence of differential response by age, further immunologic and epidemiologic studies are needed.
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