Hope for TB victims as new vaccine is developed

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A French doctor vaccinates a patient .There is hope for TB victims after a vaccine preventing people suffering from latent TB from developing active TB was launched PHOTO COURTESY

There is now hope for victims suffering from latent TB.

This is after scientists developed a new tuberculosis vaccine that prevents people with latent TB from being infected with active TB.

Latent TB is a form of Tuberculosis where the victims cannot infect the disease to others scientists estimate that between 5-10% of victims suffering from latent TB develop full-blown TB in their lifetime.

The vaccine was developed by Aeras a company that is focused on advancing new tuberculosis vaccines and GlaxoSmithKline – GSK a renowned pharmaceutical company based in London.

“The vaccine is  targeting adults 18-50 years, who may have TB, which is  it staying in their lungs as a latent infection, but may later on in life develop active TB” Said Dr. Ginsberg at a press conference in New York

The vaccine was developed after a three-year research was conducted in Kenya, Zambia and South Africa

So far there has been one licensed tuberculosis vaccine, Bacille Calmette-Guérin – BCG, but does not stably protect against pulmonary Tb.

“The vaccine appears to be quite safe, except from injection site reaction and flu-like symptoms that may last three to four days. We have not seen any major side effects…” She said

The study which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine states that there were an estimated 10.4 million new cases of tuberculosis and 1.7 million deaths from the disease in 2016.

There were a  total of 10 confirmed cases of active pulmonary TB in the vaccine group and a total of 22 cases in the placebo group in a study group of 3575 participants.

“Of 3575 participants who underwent randomization, 3573 received at least one dose…43% were women. The trial groups were balanced in terms of pre-specified demographic characteristics” Stated the Study

The association of HIV and TB was not significant in the study population as very few had developed HIV in the course of the research.

TB was declared a global world emergency in the early 90’s.

The United Nations General Assembly – UNGA is expected to exclusively address the TB issue.

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