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Future Microbiol. 2011 Feb;6(2):161-77. doi: 10.2217/fmb.10.168.

Development of new vaccines and drugs for TB: limitations and potential strategic errors.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology, Colorado State University, Colorado, CO 80523, USA.


The concomitant HIV and TB epidemics pose an enormous threat to humanity. After invading the host Mycobacterium tuberculosis initially behaves as an intracellular pathogen, which elicits the emergence of acquired specific resistance in the form of a T-helper-1 T-cell response, and involves the secretion of a myriad of cytokines and chemokines to drive protective immunity and granuloma formation. However, after that, a second phase of the disease process involves survival of bacilli in an extracellular state that is still poorly understood. This article briefly reviews the various strategies currently being used to improve both vaccination and drug therapy of TB, and attempts to make the argument that current viewpoints that dominate [both the field and the current literature] may be seriously flawed. This includes both the choice of new vaccine and drug candidates, and also the ways these are being tested in animal models, which in the opinion of the author run the risk of driving the field backwards rather than forward.

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