Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Urgent need for tuberculosis vaccines; Experts report progress, obstacles in growing drug resistance

Date:
October 15, 2012
Source:
Aeras
Summary:
Drawing on recent findings of a significant rise in cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis in the UK and globally, top TB researchers are calling for greater focus on the quest for new vaccines -- a crucial long-term, cost-effective method for addressing the growing threat.

Drawing on recent findings of a significant rise in cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis in the UK and globally, top TB researchers at a briefing today (Oct. 15, 2012) in London called for greater focus on the quest for new vaccines -- a crucial long-term, cost-effective method for addressing the growing threat.

The event at the Science Media Centre follows the release of troubling new research published in The Lancet in August suggesting that levels of drug-resistant TB are higher than previously appreciated, leaving few options for patients with drug-resistant TB. TB is already the world's second leading infectious killer. The WHO estimates that 9 percent of cases of multidrug-resistant TB in fact have extensively drug-resistant TB for which even fewer drugs are effective, and the Lancet study revealed that rates of XDR-TB ranged from 0.8-15.2% of MDR-TB cases at study sites across the world.

"Vaccines are the ultimate long-term, cost-effective solution for addressing tuberculosis," said Helen McShane, MD, PhD, Professor of Vaccinology, University of Oxford, and developer of the vaccine candidate that is furthest along in clinical trials. "It is important that we continue to develop better drugs and diagnostics to help us rapidly diagnose TB and identify drug-resistant strains, but we must invest in vaccine research now if our ultimate goal is to be able to prevent the disease rather than forever chase growing drug resistance with new drugs."

McShane was joined at the London briefing by Ann Ginsberg, MD, PhD, Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Aeras and Tim McHugh, PhD, Professor of Medical Microbiology, University College London. The three scientists are working on the frontlines of efforts to combat the disease, which killed an estimated 1.45 million people in 2010 -- the equivalent of the populations of Birmingham and Liverpool combined.

In the last decade, Ginsberg said, TB vaccine research has made dramatic strides. The number of TB vaccines in clinical trials has grown from zero to more than a dozen. MVA85A, the vaccine developed in McShane's laboratory, is the most clinically-advanced TB vaccine candidate in the world. The first efficacy results are expected early next year based on the outcome of a clinical trial in South Africa, carried out at the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative with support from Aeras, The Wellcome Trust, the European Commission, Emergent BioSolutions and the Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium.

"Vaccines that prevent adolescents and adults from developing infectious tuberculosis would be the single greatest advance in the global fight against the disease," said Ginsberg. "Much of the most exciting TB vaccine discovery work is happening in the United Kingdom and Europe with significant leadership and support from the UK government."

UK and Global TB Trends

More than half of all reported TB cases are in Asia, most of them in India, Pakistan, China and Indonesia. South Africa has the highest rate in Africa, which accounts for 26 percent of the burden of disease globally.

In 2011, the incidence rate in the UK rose 6.6% over the previous year and London, which is home to almost 40 percent of all cases in the UK according to a report released in July by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, has been dubbed the "TB Capital of Western Europe."

Globally, drug resistance has grown because of misuse of anti-TB drugs, poor management of the disease and transmission of drug-resistant cases from person to person; and the impact of the disease on health systems and national economies is only beginning to be felt, McHugh said. In the UK, the total number of cases of drug-resistant TB has risen by more than 50 percent in the last decade.

"Treatment for MDR-TB is more expensive than for drug-susceptible TB, and is protracted lasting up to two years, the drugs used are unpleasant with significant side effects" McHugh said. "In many settings, clinicians are unable to diagnose MDR-TB rapidly, increasing the risk of patients spreading the drug resistant strains while receiving treatment that may be ineffective against the infection."

Studies regarding MDR-TB, such as the one published in the Lancet on August 30, confirmed what researchers have been seeing in their laboratories and clinics.

"The development of new treatments and diagnostics are vital for treatment of individuals infected with drug-resistant strains of TB," McHugh said. "But drugs alone will not control the spread of TB and investments in vaccines are essential to protect the wider community."

Once known as "consumption" for the slow wasting away of people who die from it, tuberculosis is one of history's great global killers. One out of every three people globally is thought to be infected by the airborne TB organism, although a much smaller number will go on to develop the disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Aeras. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Aeras. "Urgent need for tuberculosis vaccines; Experts report progress, obstacles in growing drug resistance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015112724.htm>.
Aeras. (2012, October 15). Urgent need for tuberculosis vaccines; Experts report progress, obstacles in growing drug resistance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015112724.htm
Aeras. "Urgent need for tuberculosis vaccines; Experts report progress, obstacles in growing drug resistance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015112724.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins