Australian Researchers Successfully Develop New Tuberculosis Vaccine

August 30, 2019

Medical researchers from the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney in Australia have managed to successfully develop and test a new vaccine targeting tuberculosis.

Medical researchers from the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney in Australia have managed to successfully develop and test a new vaccine targeting tuberculosis (TB), it was revealed in an Aug. 23, 2019 press release.

In a study, reported in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the synthetic vaccine developed by the researchers has been shown to be effective as a preventative treatment against TB in mice in a pre-clinical setting. The research program to develop the vaccine has taken more than five years to put into place.

“Two peptides (small proteins), which are normally found in TB bacteria, were synthesized and then bound extremely tightly to an adjuvant (a stimulant) that was able to kick-start the immune response in the lungs,” said Dr. Anneliese Ashhurst co-lead author of the reported study, in the press release. “We were then able to show that when this vaccine was inhaled into the lungs, it stimulated the type of T cells known to protect against TB. Importantly, we then demonstrated that this type of vaccine could successfully protect against experimental airborne TB infection.” 

“There currently exists only one lone vaccine for TB (known as BCG) and this is only effective in reducing the risk of disease for infants,” said Professor Warwick Britton head of the Centenary Institute Tuberculosis Research Program and co-senior researcher on the project, in the press release. “It fails to prevent infection or provide long term protection in older individuals, and it isn’t considered suitable for use in individuals with an impaired immune system. More effective vaccines are urgently required to save lives.”

Source: Centenary Institute