New tuberculosis vaccine is promising

Published: Aug 26, 2019, 08:54 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Sydney

The research programme took over five years of effort to be implemented. A team of scientists created the advanced synthetic TB vaccine and have now demonstrated its effectiveness using mouse models

This image has been used for representational purpose
This image has been used for representational purpose

Sydney: A new type of vaccine targeting tuberculosis (TB) has been successfully developed and tested by researchers. The early-stage vaccine which was shown to provide substantial protection against TB in a pre-clinical laboratory setting was published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Study co-author Anneliese Ashhurst, who is affiliated with both the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney said that tuberculosis is a huge world-wide health problem which is caused by a bacteria that infects the lungs after it's inhaled. It is contagious and results in approximately 1.6 million deaths per year globally.

The research programme took over five years of effort to be implemented. A team of scientists created the advanced synthetic TB vaccine and have now demonstrated its effectiveness using mouse models.

Two peptides (small proteins), which are normally found in tuberculosis bacteria, were synthesised and then bound extremely tightly to an adjuvant (a stimulant) that was able to kick-start the immune response in the lungs.

Ashhurst said, "We were then able to show that when this vaccine was inhaled into the lungs, it stimulated the type of T cells known to protect against TB. Importantly, we then demonstrated that this type of vaccine could successfully protect against experimental airborne TB infection."

Another researcher Warwick Britton explained that the important thing is that the vaccine actually gets to the lungs because that's where the first TB is seen. "Ultimately, we would love to see a form of this vaccine available for use in an easily inhaled nasal spray which would provide life-long TB protections," said Britton.

Also Read: Mumbai: BMC to make city tuberculosis free by 2025

Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from IANS

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