Vaccination against tuberculosis: how can we better BCG?
Authors listJonathan M Pitt Simon Blankley Helen McShane Anne O'Garra
Tuberculosis remains one of the most significant human diseases of the developing world, accounting for 3800 worldwide deaths per day. Although we currently have a vaccine for tuberculosis, BCG, this is insufficient at protecting from adult pulmonary tuberculosis in the parts of the world where a good vaccine is most needed. This has prompted the search for new vaccination strategies that can protect better than BCG, or can boost BCG-induced immunity. We discuss these subjects in line with what is known of the immune responses to BCG and Mycobacterium tuberculosis - the etiological agent of the disease, as well as the particular difficulties facing development of new vaccines against tuberculosis. A greater understanding of the factors constituting optimal protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, as well as which pathogenic factors facilitate active disease, will accelerate the delivery of safe vaccines able to restrict active tuberculosis and thus impede contagion.