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Curr Opin Immunol. 2006 Aug;18(4):438-48. Epub 2006 Jun 13.

Progress in tuberculosis vaccine development.

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Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Department of Immunology, Berlin, Germany.


The first tuberculosis vaccine candidates have reached clinical testing. Novel subunit vaccine candidates aimed at boosting previous BCG-prime vaccination and novel viable attenuated vaccine candidates aimed at substituting BCG have both completed the preclinical stage. Despite these achievements, rational vaccine design against tuberculosis has not come to an end. Novel findings in basic immunology and microbiology will advance further improvements in vaccine development. These include the potential role of crosspriming to induce more potent T-cell responses, the role of memory T cells and regulatory T cells in sustaining or curtailing optimal immune responses, respectively, as well as the involvement of cytokines in T-cell migration to nonimmunologic tissue sites and in the generation of memory. Knowledge about basic mechanisms underlying optimum protection will not only have a direct impact on future vaccine design against tuberculosis but also help in the formulation of a set of biomarkers with predictive value for vaccine efficacy assessment.

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