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Progress in tuberculosis vaccine research

14 February 2011 10:08
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ASTANA. February 14. KAZINFORM Collaboration and funding are some of the major requirements for delivering new, more effective and safer vaccines against tuberculosis (TB). This was a much-heard statement during the annual research meeting of the TuBerculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI); Kazinform refes to Arab News.

"Challenging" would be an understatement when it comes to describing the WHO's latest plan for eliminating tuberculosis. Challenging. But certainly not impossible. In fact, TBVI's research partners, many of whom came together in Switzerland in early February 2011, are carefully optimistic about the past year's advances in vaccine research.

Dr Christian Lienhardt, who heads the Research Movement of the Stop TB Partnership painted a clear picture. Tuberculosis research lacks money on every level. Lienhardt happily noted that funding specifically for TB vaccine research has increased in the past two years but much more support is needed. In that light, it is a great breakthrough that the European Parliament accepted a resolution to support the research and development of tuberculosis vaccines. An overwhelming majority of the parliament recently voted tuberculosis vaccine research onto the agenda of the European Commission, calling upon the commission to explore new funding channels.

Successfully developing a new vaccine seems closer than ever before. A broad collection of candidate vaccines is currently being researched and several of those have now reached various stages of clinical trials. This collection of candidates is called the vaccine pipeline and researchers present at the research gathering in Switzerland were very positive about its content. Lienhardt referred to the pipeline as "robust" and challenged researchers and other partners to maintain it.

New vaccines are crucial in the fight against tuberculosis. Research shows that the introduction of a new vaccine could reduce the number of new TB cases by ninety percent within thirty to forty years. This makes the development of vaccines an essential part of the Stop TB strategy. Hard work over the past decade is starting to pay off with some promising results but the process of developing, testing and licensing new vaccines is a complicated and lengthy one; Kazinform cites Arab News.

See www.arabnews.com for full version


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