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Promising New TB Vaccine Effective In Mice

A new candidate vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) was shown to be effective and safe in animal studies. Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York report in the 4 September online issue of Nature Medicine how they developed and tested the vaccine in mice. They say while this is a significant step towards developing a TB vaccine, they don't know yet if it will work on humans, and they need to do more work to improve its effectiveness since in this study it only worked for one in five of the mice.

According to the World Health Organization, TB infects about one in every three humans walking on this planet and kills about 1.7 million every year. As if this is not bad enough, the spread of drug-resistant strains threatens to increase these numbers significantly unless we develop an efffective vaccine soon.

Senior author of the study, Dr William Jacobs Jr, professor of microbiology & immunology and of genetics at Einstein and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, told the media that the only currently used vaccine, the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, does not have a consistent track record of protecting against TB.

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