Tulane researchers have new TB vaccine in development

New TB vaccine in development
New TB vaccine in development | Courtesy of
Scientists from the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC) at Tulane University are creating a novel tuberculosis (TB) vaccine that may be more effective than traditional vaccines.

The scientists created a modified strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) to exclude SigmaH, a stress response gene. Using their new aerosol vaccine, the researchers conducted a study to demonstrate that monkeys had better protective immunity against TB compared to the traditional Bacille de Calmette et Guérin (BCG) vaccine.

"While the results are exciting, we believe further work is needed before this excitement can be translated to human trials," TNPRC Professor Deepak Kaushal 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."

TB is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. Over 9 million people contract TB infections during 2013 alone, and over 1 million people died from TB infections in 2013. 

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