Friday December 6, 2019

New Vaccine for Tuberculosis Shows Promise

Two peptides (small proteins), which are normally found in tuberculosis bacteria, were synthesised and then bound extremely tightly to an adjuvant (a stimulant) that was able to kick-start the immune response in the lungs

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World, Population, Tuberculosis
The study, published in European Respiratory Journal, shows that one in four people in the world carries tuberculosis bacterium in the body. Pixabay

Researchers have successfully developed and tested a new type of vaccine targeting tuberculosis (TB).

Published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the early-stage vaccine was shown to provide substantial protection against TB in a pre-clinical laboratory setting.

“Tuberculosis is a huge world-wide health problem. It’s caused by a bacteria that infects the lungs after it’s inhaled, is contagious and results in approximately 1.6 million deaths per year globally,” said study co-author Anneliese Ashhurst, who is affiliated with both the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney.

The research programme targeting the deadly disease took over five years of effort to be implemented.

FILE – A tuberculosis patient receives treatment at a clinic in Jakarta, Indonesia. VOA

A team of scientists created the advanced synthetic TB vaccine and have now demonstrated its effectiveness using mouse models.

Two peptides (small proteins), which are normally found in tuberculosis bacteria, were synthesised and then bound extremely tightly to an adjuvant (a stimulant) that was able to kick-start the immune response in the lungs.

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“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,” Ashhurst said.

“The important thing is that the vaccine actually gets to the lungs because that’s where you first see TB. Ultimately, we would love to see a form of this vaccine available for use in an easily inhaled nasal spray which would provide life-long TB protections,” said researcher Warwick Britton. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Develop a New Vaccine to Stop Bovine TB

The Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccine, which is currently used to protect humans against TB and is effective in cattle, is incompatible with the PPD test

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Bovine TB
This potentially allows farmers and veterinarians to protect their animals with the new BCG vaccine, whilst still maintaining a diagnostic test that will detect Bovine TB. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a novel vaccine and complementary skin test to protect cattle against bovine tuberculosis also known as Bovine TB.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, revealed that the research team from University of Surrey created a vaccine that is compatible with a synthetic form of the tuberculin skin test(PPD), a legally required test used for the surveillance of TB in cattle throughout the UK.

“This new vaccine provides protection against bovine TB and will help in the fight against this deadly disease which infects over 50 million cattle worldwide and is economically devastating to farmers,” said study researcher Johnjoe McFadden

Bovine TB is an infectious disease in cattle affecting their lungs, and those that test positive for the disease are culled.

The Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccine, which is currently used to protect humans against TB and is effective in cattle, is incompatible with the PPD test.

Bovine TB
Bovine TB is an infectious disease in cattle affecting their lungs, and those that test positive for the disease are culled. Wikimedia Commons

During this study, researchers sought to make a new BCG vaccine strain that lacks some of the proteins that are shared with the pathogen Mycobacterium bovis by identifying genes that contain encoded immunogenic proteins that could be removed from BCG without affecting its ability to work as a live vaccine.

To do this, a collection of BCG strains that had each lost a single gene were injected into cows and survival rates measured. This allowed the team to identify genes that could be removed without compromising the BCG vaccine’s effectiveness.

These dispensable genes encoding immunogenic proteins were then deleted from the BCG chromosome to make a BCG-minus strain.

The deleted immunogenic proteins were then used to develop a new synthetic skin test that, like PPD, will be positive for animals that have been exposed to TB but, unlike PPD, will be negative for animals that have been vaccinated with the BCG-minus strain.

The protective efficiency of the new strain was tested in guinea pigs.

Bovine TB
Researchers have developed a novel vaccine and complementary skin test to protect cattle against bovine tuberculosis also known as Bovine TB. Pixabay

It was found that TB-infected guinea pigs tested positive for the disease using the synthetic skin test whilst guinea pigs vaccinated with the BCG-minus strain did not.

So, unlike PPD, the new skin test also works in animals that are protected from TB by BCG-minus vaccination.

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This potentially allows farmers and veterinarians to protect their animals with the new BCG vaccine, whilst still maintaining a diagnostic test that will detect TB. (IANS)