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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2008 Nov;8(11):1759-72. doi: 10.1517/14712598.8.11.1759 .

How could we have better vaccines against tuberculosis?

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University of Notre Dame, Eck Center for Global Health & Infectious Disease, Department of Biological Sciences, Notre Dame, IN-46556, USA.



Tuberculosis (TB), an infirmity that mainly affects the respiratory system, is the world's second deadliest infectious disease, with > 9 million new cases diagnosed in 2006. One-third of the world's population is now infected with the TB bacillus. According to the WHO, an estimated 1.7 million people died from TB in 2006. More precisely, every 15 seconds, one person dies due to TB worldwide.


To review some of the key advances in the field of TB immunology and to discuss potential means for the development of new generation vaccines against TB disease.


Systematic review of the published literature in various journals.


The current TB vaccine Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, developed > 85 years ago, reduces the risk of severe forms of TB in early childhood but is not very effective in preventing pulmonary TB in adolescents and adults, the populations with the highest rates of TB disease. TB is changing and evolving, making the development of new vaccines more crucial to controlling the pandemic. Rigorous research using cutting edge vaccine technology is occurring worldwide to combat TB, and various vaccination strategies, especially prime-boost, have been pursued by many scientists.

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