Scientists successful in early-stage TB vax trial

An experimental vaccine for tuberculosis has passed Phase I testing, a significant step that may have an impact on the entire field of developing TB jabs.

Researchers at Oxford in England say that MVA85A demonstrated that it is safe to use in the early-stage trial. Scientists say the vaccine was tested on a dozen people with latent tuberculosis infection, which can flare into a full-blown case of the disease. They were given the jab and followed for a year. And Dr. Helen McShane of the University of Oxford says that any new TB vaccine should also target latent tuberculosis infection, which is carried by about a third of the world's population.

"A more effective vaccine regimen than the currently available bacillus Calmette-Guerin would have a major impact on the global TB burden and, ultimately, will be the most efficient way to control this pandemic," the researchers wrote. And they called for more trials in areas where TB is endemic.

- read the story in HealthDay