The Dartmouth Institute for Clinical Practice and Health Policy

Dartmouth, Lebanon

The Dartmouth Institute for Clinical Practice and Health Policy

Dartmouth, Lebanon

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Lahey T.,Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center | Lahey T.,The Dartmouth Institute for Clinical Practice and Health Policy | Von Reyn C.F.,Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Microbiology Spectrum | Year: 2016

Tuberculosis infects millions of people worldwide and remains a leading global killer despite widespread neonatal administration of the tuberculosis vaccine, bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). BCG has clear and sustained efficacy, but after 10 years, its efficacy appears to wane, at least in some populations. Fortunately, there are many new tuberculosis vaccines in development today, some in advanced stages of clinical trial testing. Here we review the epidemiological need for tuberculosis vaccination, including evolving standards for administration to at risk individuals in developing countries. We also examine proven sources of immune protection from tuberculosis, which to date have exclusively involved natural or vaccine exposure to whole cell mycobacteria. After summarizing evidence for the use and efficacy of BCG, we detail the most promising new candidate vaccines against tuberculosis. The global need for a new tuberculosis vaccine is acute and huge, but clinical trials to be completed in the coming few years are likely either to identify a new tuberculosis vaccine or to substantially reframe how we understand immune protection from this historical scourge. © 2016 American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.

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