News / Health

New TB Vaccine Passes Safety Tests

But proves less effective when given with other immunizations

A tuberculosis patient receives free treatment at the Indonesian Union Against Tuberculosis clinic in Jakarta, April 4, 2011.
A tuberculosis patient receives free treatment at the Indonesian Union Against Tuberculosis clinic in Jakarta, April 4, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
Art Chimes

Tuberculosis continues to be a major threat around the world, especially in developing countries. A new vaccine has gone into testing, and the results may change how childhood vaccinations are given.

TB kills 1.8 million people a year. The current vaccine for tuberculosis, called BCG, is normally given to newborns in countries where TB is a major threat.

The vaccine is very effective in children, but experts seeing a rise in adult TB cases think the vaccine's protection may eventually wear off. So the hunt has been on for a stronger, longer-lasting vaccine.

In response, researchers at Oxford University in England came up with a vaccine supplement called MVA85A. Preliminary tests indicate that, when given to children who also received the old vaccine, it is safe and produces a robust immune response, which is what a vaccine is supposed to do.

That conclusion came from a study of several hundred infants in Gambia, which also helped researchers learn the best way to administer the new vaccine.

One group of infants got the new vaccine along with their other childhood immunizations. Another group got the TB vaccine separately. Dr. Martin Ota of the Bacterial Diseases Program in Banjul, Gambia, says the two groups responded differently to the TB vaccine.

The children who got all the vaccines together had a lower immune response to the TB vaccine than those who got the TB vaccine separately, "Which implies that giving these two groups of vaccines together has a negative impact on the new TB vaccine."

Ota is the lead author of a paper describing the study.

He explains that although the measured tuberculosis immune response was lower when the TB vaccine was given with the other vaccines, it still may be enough to protect against the disease.

"We don't really know what the level that provides protection is. It might be that it is good enough, but we haven't reached that stage," Ota says in a video posted on the website of the journal Science Translational Medicine, which published his paper.

In the paper, the authors say that the lower immune response when the vaccines are given together is more likely a result of interference between adjuvants, which are additives used to boost the effectiveness of a vaccine.

There are benefits in giving all the vaccines together, including fewer clinic visits and higher vaccination rates, but for now,  Ota says, the results of his study suggest that the new TB vaccine should be given separately.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More