TB vaccine investigators report progress

Researchers at Saint Louis University say they're advancing a new vaccine that could offer much better protection from tuberculosis.

"Not only was it as safe as the standard vaccine, it induced a better immune response, which suggests it will be more effective at protecting against tuberculosis," said Daniel Hoft, M.D., Ph.D., director of the division of immunobiology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and lead author of the study.

The investigational vaccine is made from a weakened TB germ from one of the strains of the current tuberculosis vaccine, which was created more than 75 years ago. The new "recombinant" vaccine uses an antigen--a secreted protein from a virulent strain of tuberculosis--to help focus the immune system on blocking aggressive and deadly TB organisms.

In this Phase I clinical trial, researchers vaccinated a total of 35 study participants. The standard TB vaccine--called Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG)--was given to 17 study participants, and 18 study participants received the investigational recombinant BCG vaccine.

- read the release