Navigation Links
TB breakthrough could lead to stronger vaccine

A breakthrough strategy to improve the effectiveness of the only tuberculosis vaccine approved for humans provided superior protection against the deadly disease in a pre-clinical test, report scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in Nature Medicine's Advance Online Publication March 1. Their findings resulted from more than 6 years of research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Bacille Calmette-Gurin (BCG) provides only partial protection against tuberculosis (TB) in children and is ineffective in adults. As a result, tuberculosis still kills almost 2 million people a year world wide. "An improved vaccine is widely seen as the best potential method of controlling the disease and is an urgent public health priority," said Chinnaswamy Jagannath, Ph.D., lead author and associate professor at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

BCG is a live but weakened form of a bacterium, M. bovis, which causes tuberculosis in cattle. It is sufficiently related to the human pathogen to stimulate production of specialized immune cells that fight off TB infection when it is injected into a person as a vaccine.

Many attempts have been made to improve the vaccine by incorporating antigens (molecular components of the bacteria) to induce a stronger immune response. However, tuberculosis and BCG have evasive mechanisms that prevent the development of stronger immune responses. Investigators at the UT Health Science Center at Houston investigated mechanisms by which BCG evades immune stimulating mechanisms and devised two means to neutralize them. The scientists used genetically-modified organisms and a drug used for organ transplantation to block BCG's evasive mechanisms, causing it to induce stronger immune responses. Research collaborator on the genetically-modified organisms project was Subramanian Dhandayuthapani, Ph.D., an assistant professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio's Medical Research Division in Edinburg, Texas.

This dual approach to the BCG vaccine was associated with a tenfold increase in the number of TB organisms killed and a threefold increase in the duration of protection in tests with an NIH-approved mouse model, Jagannath said.

"The breakthrough is that Dr. Jagannath has countered the ability of TB organisms to subvert immunization," said Robert L. Hunter Jr., M.D., Ph.D., one of the study's two senior authors and chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the UT Medical School at Houston.

Tuberculosis hides in cells so the antigens are not recognized by the immune system. The BCG vaccine also does the same thing, as previously reported in The Journal of Immunology in 2006 by Jagannath and Christopher Singh, a doctoral student at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston.

"Dr. Jagannath hypothesized that a drug, rapamycin, which modulates the movement of particles in cells, would cause BCG antigens to enter pathways leading to improved immunization," Hunter said. "In addition, Dr. Jagannath had previously demonstrated that genetic deletion of the fpbA gene has similar effects."

Rapamycin is a drug used to fight cancer and inflammation. In 1992, the Organ Transplantation Center at the UT Medical School was first to conduct rapamycin clinical trials. The UT group led by Barry D. Kahan, M.D., Ph.D., now professor emeritus, showed that rapamycin significantly reduces the frequency of acute kidney transplant rejection.

"Our findings break new ground in vaccine research in general and make improvements for antituberculosis vaccines in particular, because they provide a simple and powerful strategy to enhance vaccine efficiency," the researchers wrote in the paper. They now plan to add additional antigens to the BCG vaccine to further improve its effectiveness before clinical trials.


Contact: Robert Cahill
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Related medicine news :

1. Prosthetic Center of Excellence to Provide Breakthrough Technology to Rehabilitation Patients
2. Neurologist to Announce Breakthrough Headache Treatment
3. Nutrition 21 Launches Breakthrough Weight Management Product: Iceland Health(R) Appetite Control Formula
4. Breakthrough Rx for Relationships Offers Hope
5. Oklahoma State University researchers make breakthrough against poxviruses
6. DHA Hailed as Breakthrough Treatment for Lowering Risk of Developmental Disorders in Premature Infants; Animi-3(R) Prescribed to Women Who Are Not Eating Fish
7. Canine Cancer #1 Fear of Dog Lovers, Web Exclusive by Morris Animal Foundation Provides News on Latest Breakthroughs - Crucial Facts for Dog Owners
8. American Asthma Foundation Announces Breakthrough Discovery
9. A breakthrough in diagnosis of enteric lesions
10. 5,000 Medical Leaders Report Latest Advancements in Biomedical Technologies; Breakthroughs by 2015 Predicted for Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Cancer, and Diabetes
11. DR. MIRACLES Wins 2008 WWD Beauty Biz Award: Breakthrough Product of the Year!!!
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... quoted Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Consumer Reports as supporting a ... for a child’s exposure limits. , The original Nov 2015 CR story titled, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Medicalis, a ... Radiology Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, being held November 29 – ... 2014. Throughout 2015, the company has completed installations for Integrated Delivery Network ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... It’s inevitable that ... family member, close friend, or animal pass away, death lives among us. It is ... , Coming from a family of 11 children, author T Sky understands that she ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... The successful filing of an Investigational New Drug application (IND) is a ... key industry segment, Regis Technologies has decided to sponsor and participate in an XTalks-hosted ... , Federal law does not allow new drugs to cross state lines until it ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Scott Newman MD, FACS of New York’s ... surgeons in the New York City area to utilize the new, non-invasive SculpSure™ ... laser treatment for fat loss in the abdomen, flanks, and other areas that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015   Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... Support Company (NDSC) today jointly announced a new ... that utilize the American College of Radiology,s (ACR) Imaging ... to comply with current and emerging value-based payment ... --> By combining clinical decision support, radiology reporting ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015  Hanger, Inc. (NYSE: HGR ) ... the terms of its previously announced consent solicitation (as ... $200,000,000 aggregate principal amount 7⅛% Senior Notes due 2018 ... consent fees payable pursuant to the Consent Solicitation, (ii) ... (iii) the expiration date of the Consent Solicitation.    ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... and BOSTON , November 30, 2015 ... develop potential new medicines directed at up to 10 ... --> PFE ) to research and develop ... protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets across multiple therapeutic areas. ... drug discovery and development company and wholly-owned subsidiary of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: