Hyderabad: People who test positive with immunologic tuberculosis (TB) skin or blood tests rarely develop the disease says a new study.
The study suggests the infecting organism – Mycobacterium tuberculosis is likely dead or wiped out naturally by human’s immune system.
But for the first time ever, an experimental vaccine with a high probability of treating TB is being introduced to TB patients in Hyderabad.
The vaccine ‘M72 ASO1E’ has proved to be 50 per cent effective in preventing the latent tuberculosis from progressing into an active disease among adults in Africa.
The new vaccine prevents
pulmonary TB disease according to the researchers who have presented their
study results at the global summit on lung health recently.
The study was carried out
by Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) in collaboration with the International AIDS Vaccine
Initiative (IAVI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Also, the study published
in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on Tuesday had included 3,575 TB
participants aged between 18 years and 50 years from South Africa, Kenya and
According to the study, this
new vaccine not only improvised the TB patients immune response but also provided
protection against progression to pulmonary tuberculosis diseases for at least
“Currently, there are about
15 different TB vaccine candidates in the world that are under different stages
of development. We are talking about this particular one because this is first
time that a vaccine has displayed so much of efficacy and promise that it can
actually protect already infected adults from active TB. This has not been
shown in any published literature so far,” said Dr Ann Ginsberg, Senior
Technical Advisor, IAVI.
Speaking on the results, Clinical
Research and Development, GSK, Director Olivier Van Der Meeren said the safety
profile of the vaccine is acceptable where as its efficacy so far had been very
good, he added, “the study results have been encouraging.”
“We are more cautious and
also excited as we are a step closer to a vaccine for TB,” said Dr Paula
Fujiwara, Scientific Director, The Union.
Despite India being a country
with a large population of TB patients, the research for the vaccine study was
carried out in regions with higher TB incidence.
“The TB incidence rate in South Africa is 10 times higher. To conduct the study in India, we would have needed more number of patients and it would have taken longer to complete the study,” Dr Meeren said.