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Vet Microbiol. 2006 Feb 25;112(2-4):163-9. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

Prospects for a novel vaccine against tuberculosis.

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Department of Infectious Disease Immunology, Statens Serum Institute, Artillerivej 5, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark.


The development of a new and improved vaccine against tuberculosis has in the last 10 years been accelerated tremendously from the completed Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome and the progress in molecular biology. This has resulted in the identification of a large number of antigens with potential in tuberculosis vaccines. The next phase of this work has now started--putting the most relevant molecules back together as fusion molecules and cocktails. This requires carefully monitoring of aspects as immunodominance, recognition in different populations as well as the influence of different adjuvants and delivery systems. The most advanced of these vaccines such as the fusion between ESAT6 and Ag85B have been evaluated in a range of animal models including non-human primates and are now entering into clinical trials. For these vaccines to be successfully implemented in future vaccination programmes it is necessary to understand the immunological background for the failure of BCG and optimize the vaccines for their ability to boost the immuno-response primed by BCG.

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