Researchers have released preliminary results from a clinical drug trial for a new Tuberculosis vaccine, which shows signs of safely fighting the disease. The trial by the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) at the University of Cape Town the Infectious Disease Research Institute and global biotechnology organisation Aeras, form part of a global effort to develop a new TB vaccine.
The results are released as World TB Day is marked on Saturday. According to UCT lead researcher, Professor Mark Hatherill, in South Africa, 50-80% of adults are infected with the bacteria which causes the disease, and the incidence of TB disease is one of the highest in the world.
The trial showed that South African adults tolerated the treatment well, supporting further development and clinical testing. Globally, approximately 10% of people infected with the TB bug develop TB disease over their lifetime, but this vaccine could help to prevent the disease, which is spread by coughing.
Tuberculosis causes 1-point-7 million deaths a year and is the biggest global cause of death from any infectious disease.
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