SA set to make TB vaccine history

2012-03-20 22:27
Johannesburg - Scientists say the first advanced clinical trials in South Africa for tuberculosis vaccine are scheduled for completion by early next year.

South African researcher Dr Hassan Mohomed says the trials will make medical history, even if the vaccine doesn't work. He said the results will help scientists understand the world epidemic and form a key building block to hasten the eventual eradication of TB.

The government's health department said at the launch on Tuesday of a new global drive to find a vaccine that South Africa has the second highest rate of TB infection in the world after Swaziland. 

"A blueprint has been developed, essentially a document on research plans for the next five to 10 years," said Hassan Mahomed, who heads clinical trials for the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative.

The fresh impetus to the research comes as scientists await the release in early 2013 of results from the world's most advanced TB vaccine trial - one of 12 currently underway.

"That's quite an exciting development, because for the first time we will know if any of these new vaccines will have positive developments for preventing TB," Mahomed said.

TB is the biggest killer of HIV-positive South Africans, whose resistance to disease is lowered.

A vaccine was developed 90 years ago, but it only protects children against some forms of the disease. Adults who develop TB must undergo drugs for treatment, but new drug-resistant forms of the disease have confounded doctors.

The disease preys on weakened immune systems, so it has become a major scourge in South Africa which has one of the world's highest HIV levels, with 18% of adults infected.

That has made the country a key testing ground for vaccine research, hosting six clinical trials.

Once known as "consumption" for the slow wasting away of terminally-ill patients, one out of every three people is thought to be infected by the airborne TB organism, though only a fraction go on to develop the disease.


Read more on:    sa  |  health  |  research  |  tb

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.