A new vaccine, made with several proteins from the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), will soon enter the first phase of human safety testing. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has supported research on the candidate vaccine from its earliest stages. The trial will be conducted in the United States by Seattle biotechnology company Corixa and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, a vaccine manufacturer headquartered in Belgium.
The vaccine combines two TB proteins known to stimulate strong immune responses in humans. The proteins were initially identified by screening blood taken from volunteers who never became ill with tuberculosis despite long-term infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. Using recombinant DNA technology, the TB proteins were fused and then combined with adjuvants, substances that further boost the immune system’s response to the vaccine. NIAID grants awarded in the late 1990s supported research that uncovered the most effective adjuvant-protein combination.
Anne A. Oplinger
Message posted by: Rashmi Nemade
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