Advanced TB vaccine clinical trials set for early 2013 completion date

The results of advanced clinical trials for a tuberculosis vaccine are scheduled to be completed in South Africa by early 2013.

Dr. Hassan Mohammed, a South African researcher, insists that the trials will make medical history, even if the vaccine is not effective. Mohammed said that the results of the trials will aid in helping scientists to understand the world epidemic and gather data that could hasten TB's eventual eradication, according to the Washington Post.

South Africa's health department recently said that the nation has the world's second highest rate of TB infection after the tiny southern African nation of Swaziland. TB remains the largest killer of HIV-positive South Africans, who are susceptible to the disease because of a lowered resistance to disease.

Mike Brennan, an adviser to Aeras, a U.S.-based nonprofit TB research organization, said that the new worldwide blueprint for the fight against TB has followed tremendous progress over the last decade.

"Ten years ago no vaccine was in clinical trials," Brennan said, the Washington Post reports. "It's like building a house. We have the plans, we need builders to bring the finance and workers to bring the tools.

"We are at a key time now when we have the hope of a new vaccine being developed over the next ten years."