New Vaccine Candidate Safe, Effective at Treating Latent TB, Study Says
A new tuberculosis vaccine candidate called MVA85A is safe and effective in treating latent TB, according to a study published in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Reuters Health reports. According to the authors, there have been concerns that administering vaccines to people with latent TB could trigger active forms of the disease.
For the study, researchers led by Helen McShane of the University of Oxford administered the vaccine to 12 people with latent TB and followed them for one year. The vaccine was well-tolerated and did not lead to active TB (Reuters Health , 4/8). "A more effective vaccine regimen than the currently available [BCG vaccine] would have a major impact on the global TB burden," McShane said. Ying Zhang of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in an accompanying editorial said additional studies are needed to better determine the vaccine's efficacy. He added that the finding that the vaccine can safely be given to people with latent TB will "help this new vaccine move down the vaccine development pipeline" (Reuters Health , 4/8).
An abstract of the study is available online.