A new gene therapy approach could help completely eliminate the infection that causes one of the world's biggest killers – tuberculosis (TB).
Chemotherapy alone cannot kill all the bacteria that cause TB: remaining bacteria can reactivate decades after treatment. Gene Therapy this week reports that a DNA vaccination administered in conjunction with chemotherapy completely blocks reactivation of the bacteria and significantly prevents a secondary infection.
Korean researchers in Youngchul Sung's team have shown that a DNA vaccine can work in animals already exposed to the bacteria, to prevent reinfection, where chemotherapy has been the only option. This new therapy could prove beneficial to patients undergoing TB chemotherapy to prevent either reactivation of the bacteria or reinfection from a secondary source.
Youngchul Sung (Pohang University of Science and Technology, Kyungbuk, Republic of Korea)
Tel: +82 279 2294
Douglas B Lowrie (National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK)
(C) Gene Therapy press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza