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Inhaled tuberculosis vaccine more effective than traditional shot
Date:3/12/2008

Among guinea pigs vaccinated with the aerosol treatment and subsequently exposed to TB, less than 1 percent of lung and spleen tissue showed effects of the disease. By contrast, in animals treated with the same dose of the traditional injected vaccine, some 5 percent of lung tissue and 10 percent of spleen tissue showed symptoms following TB exposure.

Administered to 100 million infants annually, the current Bacillus Calmette-Gurin (BCG) vaccine for TB is the world's most widely administered childhood vaccine. Dried into a powder by freezing and delivered by needle injection, the vaccine requires refrigerated storage and has shown variable degrees of protection against tuberculosis in different parts of the world. These limitations have prompted calls from public health experts and physicians for alternative treatments.

The rapid-drying process by which the aerosol vaccine is made resembles the technique used in the manufacture of powdered milk. In the aerosol vaccine, particles form at micrometer and nanometer scales and in spherical and elongated shapes, a combination that appears to improve dispersal in the mouth.

While commonly used with food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, this spray drying of small and large molecules is seldom used for drying cellular material. The new technique enables TB vaccines, and potentially other bacterial and viral-based vaccines, to sidestep the traditional problems associated with keeping vaccines chilled.

"Spray drying is lower-cost than BCG, easily scalable for manufacturing, and ideal for needle-free use, such as via inhalation," says Edwards, an international leader in aerosol drug and vaccine delivery. "Its greater stability at room temperature could ultimately provide a better means of creating and delivering vaccine throughout the world."


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Contact: Steve Bradt
steve_bradt@harvard.edu
617-496-8070
Harvard University
Source:Eurekalert

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