The new vaccine consists of two synthesized peptides that are commonly found in tuberculosis bacteria combined with other substances to stimulate an immune response in the lungs. The vaccine took more than five years of research. At the first stage of testing, the effectiveness of the vaccine was tested in rodents. When the mice inhaled the vaccine, it stimulated the activity of protective T cells. In addition to preclinical studies, no more trials were conducted.
The only vaccine available today, BCG, is effective only to reduce the risk of illness in children, but is not suitable for older people with a weakened immune system. The author of the study, Warwick Britton, claims that the new vaccine will protect against tuberculosis for life. According to him, they would like the vaccine to be available in the form of a regular nasal spray. Although scientists are separated from such a result by years, they are already confidently moving towards their intended goal.
The team’s next planned steps are to find out if their synthetic vaccine can be made human-friendly.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by mycobacteria, often called Koch sticks. About 30% of the world’s population are carriers of a latent form of the disease, and about 10% of them become ill during life.
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