Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is widely used as a vaccine against TB, but the researchers say it has a variable protection against neonatal and adult pulmonary TB, with protection ranging from 0% to 80% among infants. Despite routine vaccinations for children, mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) continues to disseminate into brain and tuberculosis meningitis.
The novel approach developed by the researchers incorporates autophagy-mediated antigen presentation, which initiates an enhanced T cell response, according to a news release. Houston Methodist Research Institute professor of pathology and genomic medicine Chinnaswamy Jagannath, collaborating with Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine professor of virology Dr. Suresh Mittal, demonstrated that the novel formulation improves the development of tuberculosis-specific immune responses.
“Our vaccine approach is equally effective without or with prior vaccination with BCG,” Mittal said in the release. “The great thing about this work with TB is that it can translate to other infectious diseases and possibly cancer immunotherapy.”
Mittal’s lab studies delivery platforms for the vaccines, with Jagannath’s lab using the nasal delivery route for the TB vaccine development. The researchers have looked to patent their technology and are looking for partners to continue developing it.
The researchers say the next step will be to conduct an efficacy study in a non-human primate model, with successful completion expected to form the basis for a potential human trial.
“It is vital since the majority of people in Mtb-endemic countries are already immunized with BCG,” added Jagannath.
Filed Under: Drug Delivery, Drug Discovery, Drug Discovery and Development