A breakthrough in developing a new vaccine against tuberculosis (TB) as apparently been made by the US scientists, who claim that injection of modified bacteria related to the TB-causing bacteria can apparently offer protection against the lung disease!
The prototype vaccine against the TB microbe is a noteworthy development, given the fact that the existing TB vaccine, bacile Calmette-Guerin (BCG), is not very effective --- though it does provide some protection against childhood forms of TB, it still is fairly unreliable against the steadily-spreading adult lung disease.
In a report in Nature Medicine, the scientists – led by Professor William Jacobs of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York – said that experiments on mice have revealed that, in some cases, injections of modified bacteria could completely get rid of the TB bacteria.
For their experiments, the scientists chiefly deleted a set of genes – known as ESX-3 - from the mouse bacterium; and replaced this set of genes with the ESX-3 genes of the human infectious agent. It was found that mice inoculated with the new strain survived infection with TB microbes.
Stating that it was highly notable that the vaccinated mice that survived for over 200 days had livers which were completely clear of TB bacteria, Prof Jacobs said that the total elimination of TB was something that “nobody has ever seen that before.” He also added that even though it is yet not certain whether the vaccine will work in humans, it is nonetheless “a significant step in efforts to create a better TB vaccine”!