Looks like you’re on the UK site. Choose another location to see content specific to your location

Home Industry News New TB vaccine a step closer

New TB vaccine a step closer

8th October 2008

Scientists at Aberystwyth University say they may be able to develop a new, more effective vaccine against tuberculosis (TB).

The development follows research which focused on the discovery of a protein that is able to ‘wake up’ dormant bacteria that cause TB.

It is hoped the research could eventually be used to develop a vaccine that either stops infecting TB bacteria from taking hold or, for the one in every three people worldwide who are already carrying a latent TB infection, prevents dormant bacteria from ‘waking up’ in the first place.

Another possibility could be that the discovery of the protein could be used to deliberately ‘wake up’ dormant bacteria in a controlled way so they can be destroyed with antibiotics.

The research team, led by Professors Mike Young and Doug Kell at Aberystwyth University together with Professor Arseny Kaprelyants of the Bakh Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, discovered a new family of proteins which occur naturally in the body and which are able to bring bacteria to life.

However, as a result of being brought to life by the protein the bacteria become more susceptible to attack from antibiotics.

Prof Young, now based in Aberystwyth University’s newly formed institute of biological, rural and environmental studies, said: “Current TB treatments can go on for over six months and can still leave bacteria in the body that can cause the disease when they resume active growth and multiplication.

“Our discovery, which is now being developed into a vaccine, might help prevent the establishment of persistent infections in the first place or, alternatively, it might prevent persisting organisms in individuals with latent TB from reawakening at all.

“TB kills around 1.7 million people around the world every year. I hope that our research will now be rapidly translated into a vaccine that can help as many of these people as possible.”

We currently have 6 jobs available in Pharmacy industry, find your perfect one now.

Stay informed

Receive the latest industry news, Tips
and straight to your inbox.