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Vaccine. 2005 Mar 18;23(17-18):2115-20.

Do successful tuberculosis vaccines need to be immunoregulatory rather than merely Th1-boosting?

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  • 1Centre for Infectious Disease and International Health, University College London, Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, London W1T 4JF, UK. g.rook@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Tuberculosis vaccine candidates are entering clinical studies in areas where BCG fails. This is a high-risk strategy. We suggest that geographical variation in the efficacy of BCG is related to the presence in developing countries of a cross-reactive background Th2-like response, probably attributable to exposure of mother and infant to helminths and environmental mycobacteria. Such Th2-like activity can stop Mycobacterium tuberculosis from being pushed into a latent state by the Th1 response, impair bactericidal functions and cause toxicity of TNF-alpha and pulmonary fibrosis. A successful vaccine, rather than driving a Th1 response, might need to suppress this pre-existing subversive Th2-like component.

PMID:
15755581
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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