Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Groundbreaking, lifesaving TB vaccine a step closer

08.10.2008
Researchers at Aberystwyth University, following a number of years of investment by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), have licensed ground-breaking research to a non-profit product development partnership working to develop new, more effective vaccines against Tuberculosis (TB). This development will give hope that significantly better prevention and treatment of TB will be available within the next few years.

The Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, which was founded to develop new, cost-effective TB vaccines for use in the developing world, has licensed a discovery of a protein that is able to 'wake up' dormant Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that cause TB.

The research and the fundamental knowledge that came out of it could be used to develop a vaccine that either stops infecting TB bacteria from taking hold or, for the one in every three people world-wide who are already carrying a latent TB infection, prevents dormant bacteria from 'waking up'. Another possible strategy could be to deliberately 'wake up' dormant bacteria in a controlled way so they can be destroyed with antibiotics.

In the late 1990s, researchers funded by BBSRC discovered a new family of proteins that were able to resuscitate bacteria found harmlessly in and around the human body. When 'awoken' from dormancy the bacteria were then much more susceptible to attack from antibiotics. The team led by Professors Mike Young and Doug Kell at Aberystwyth University together with Prof Arseny Kaprelyants of the Bakh Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, identified the gene in the bacterium that produced the protein and went on to discover the corresponding genes in M. tuberculosis. This research has now been licensed by Aeras after years of development. Aeras plans to take its recombinant BCG (AERAS-407) vaccine, based in part on the Aberystwyth work, to clinical trial in 2009.

Prof Young, now based in Aberystwyth University's newly formed Institute of Biological, Rural and Environmental Studies, said: "Current TB treatments can go on for over six months and can still leave bacteria in the body that can cause the disease when they resume active growth and multiplication. Our discovery, which is now being developed into a vaccine, might help prevent the establishment of persistent infections in the first place or, alternatively, it might prevent persisting organisms in individuals with latent TB from reawakening at all.

"TB kills around 1.7 million people around the world every year. I hope that our research will now be rapidly translated into a vaccine that can help as many of these people as possible."

Dr Alf Game, BBSRC Deputy Director of Research, said: "This discovery came out of research in the basic biology of a different bacterium. It shows that we need to strive to understand the fundamental workings of the world around us and from that we can identify how to tackle challenges, such as dangerous diseases, that we all face."

Press Office | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Individual Receptors Caught at Work
19.10.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction
19.10.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>