TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018

Tulane researchers seek new TB vaccine

Tulane researchers seek new TB vaccine.
Tulane researchers seek new TB vaccine. | Courtesy of cdc.gov
A team of scientists from the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC) have taken the lead in discovering a new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine.

TB remains one of the deadliest illnesses in the world. It is a contagious infection that settles in the lungs. Over nine million people had TB infections in 2013 alone, and more than one million of them died from the illness.

Scientists with TNPRC implemented a modified TB strain to demonstrate that monkeys have a stronger protective immunity when they receive BCG vaccinations, which are common TB vaccines.

The researchers infected the monkeys with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and found that the monkeys withstood Mtb infections better after receiving aerosols of the modified TB strain vaccines.

"While the results are exciting, we believe further work is needed before this excitement can be translated to human trials," Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D., professor at TNPRC, said. "More monkey studies are needed to validate these results in alternative settings, and more modifications may be necessary to add to the strain we're working with in order to safeguard it further. However, the impact of the current work in identifying what is needed to protect against TB, and, in a model that closely mimics human infection, is unquestionable."

Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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