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October 2010

New developments in TB vaccine research and diagnostic capacity

October 12, 2010 -- Researchers, nonprofit groups, US federal agencies, and other partners have recently announced exciting advancements in tuberculosis (TB) vaccine research and diagnostic capacity.

In an interview with Inter Press Service, Anthony Hawkridge, a senior researcher at the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, discusses new clinical trials with the organization's experimental TB vaccines. Aeras is developing a new TB vaccine, called AERAS-422, that researchers hope will provide long-term protection against all forms of the disease. In addition, Aeras supports research on four TB vaccine candidates designed as boosters, which have now reached Phase II clinical trials that will launch among infants in Kenya. Other trial sites include South Africa, Uganda, and India. According to Hawkridge, although it is difficult to predict when a new TB vaccine will be available, some researchers hope one will be ready by 2020.

In other TB news, a joint effort by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Doctors Without Borders has helped to renovate a TB testing and diagnostic facility in Swaziland. According to Dr. Mary Kathryn Linde of ASCP, high-quality diagnostic facilties play a vital role in controlling the spread of TB. “It’s so important to have the correct diagnosis and a very rapid, timely diagnosis so that the patient can be treated. The patient[s] can’t be treated until they are diagnosed,” she said. See the links below for more information.

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