The only TB vaccine - the BCG jab - is not very effective. It has variable results and has been shown to be between 0% and 80% effective in different parts of the world. There are also potential problems giving the live vaccine to some of the most at risk patients - those with HIV. Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is one of the top 10 leading causes of death, according to the World Health Organization, killing 1.7 million people each year. The number of tuberculosis cases in the UK topped 9,000 last year, the highest for nearly 30 years, figures show. Diagnoses have been rising almost continuously since the 1980s, with many of the new cases thought to be among people who caught the disease abroad. There has also been a sharp rise in drug-resistant TB cases: figures have nearly doubled since 2000 to 389 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11688632).
BioKinetic conducts clinical trials at our 30-bed unit on new or modified vaccines and we were interested to hear of this development within the field of TB.
The research is in its early stages and the potential for a human vaccine is unknown, campaign group TB Alert says. However, Nature Medicine reports that experiments on mice showed the injections could completely eliminate tuberculosis bacteria in some cases, .
Regarding this latest research, Lead researcher Prof William Jacobs said: “We consistently protected mice better with Ikeplus (new vaccine) than with BCG. This is something we’ve dreamed about for years, to be able to get longer protection and bactericidal immunity.” He warned that only 20% of the mice were long-term survivors so the vaccine would need further development. He added: “Ikeplus is different from any other TB vaccine and it’s a new tool for the TB arsenal.”
A TB Alert spokesperson said: “These are interesting experiments but it is too early to tell what impact they will have on the development of a safe and effective vaccine.”
Full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14761366
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