Most kiddies receive the very effective Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine against tuberculosis during childhood, but as they grow up, the protection afforded by this vaccine wanes.
Since cases of adult TB are on the rise, receiving an immune upgrade would be a great benefit to boost immune protection.
One team of researchers at McMaster University, led by Professor Zhou Xing, have now developed a new booster vaccine based on adenovirus, which causes the common cold.
In 26 healthy adults, they showed that this vaccine could generate robust immune responses against TB. Anti-TB immune cells created by the booster vaccine performed better in people that had previously received the childhood BCG vaccine, secreting a wider range of protective immune factors.
Since this novel booster vaccine has proven safe and very effective at reawakening TB immunity in BCG-vaccinated healthy adults, it will now move on to the next stages of clinical trials.
Smaill F, Jeyanathan M, Smiejal M, Medinal MF, Thanthrige-Don N, Zganiacz A, Yin C, Heriazon A, Damjanovic D, Puril L, Hamidl J, Xie F, Foley R, Bramson J, Gauldie J, & Xing Z (2013). A Human Type 5 Adenovirus–Based Tuberculosis Vaccine Induces Robust T Cell Responses in Humans Despite Preexisting Anti-Adenovirus Immunity Science Translational Medicine, 5 (205) DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3006843