Research into new TB vaccine shows positive results

The vaccine sets out to prevent the progression of latent tuberculosis infection to the active form of the disease.

A digitally colourised scanning electron microscopic image depicts a grouping of red-coloured, rod-shaped Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria which cause tuberculosis in human beings. Picture: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

CAPE TOWN - Research into a new TB vaccine conducted by the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative has shown positive results during clinical trials rolled out in the Western Cape.

The vaccine sets out to prevent the progression of latent tuberculosis infection to the active form of the disease.

Results of tests conducted on 54 adults living outside Cape Town show the vaccine was well tolerated and had an acceptable safety profile.

Experts say these findings, published in a medical journal, support further development and clinical testing.

UCT's Professor Mark Hatherill said: “This vaccine is safe for people who are latently infected with tuberculosis and those who are not, it is safe in different doses and it also generates a doable and long-lasting immune response in terms of both antibodies and human T-cell response important for protection.”