A new vaccine that can fight tuberculosis in mice before and after exposure to the infectious agent is reported online this week in Nature Medicine.
Tuberculosis vaccines currently in clinical trials have been designed to protect people before they are exposed to Mycobacterium, the pathogen responsible for the disease. However, many people experience what is called ‘latent infection’ in which the pathogen is in a resting, susceptible of being reactivated. This latent state is not targeted by existing tuberculosis vaccines.
Claus Aagaard and his colleagues developed a vaccination strategy that combines proteins that trigger an immune response to the active, as well as to the latent Mycobacterium. Their vaccine promotes an immune response against all protein components of the vaccine. The team found that the vaccine also confers protection against Mycobacterium in three different preexposure mouse models and it controls reactivation in two mouse models of latent tuberculosis.
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