A group of researchers from around the world have joined forces to develop a vaccine which could revolutionise the treatment of tuberculosis.
The researchers claimed the vaccine would provide long-term protection against the disease, which kills 1.5 million people around the world each year.
At a global summit on lung health in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Tuesday, the researchers revealed that the vaccine, made up of proteins from bacteria can trigger an immune response.
David Lewinsohn, a TB expert, told the BBC the potential vaccine was a “real game changer.”
“What is really remarkable is that it was effective in adults who were already infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis that is the causative agent of TB,” he said.
“As most people who are infected with Mycobacteriumtuberculosis do not get TB, we have believed that infection confers some degree of protection. As a result it is really exciting that a vaccine has been shown to improve on this natural immunity.”
Dr. Lewinsohn said the new vaccine had cleared a key “mid-phase development and it is designed to test both safety and provide an early indicator of efficacy.”
“It is likely that the vaccine will need to be tested in additional populations, and possibly bigger trials before it will be licensed. Assuming the data holds up in the remaining trials, which seems likely, this vaccine has the potential to revolutionise TB treatment,” he added.
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