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The bacteria killer, tuberculosis caused 1.5 million deaths in 2018 one (difficult) step for a vaccine Spanish tb

More than a century after the first (and limited) vaccine against tb, there is another that has passed all clinical phases for a mass administration. It will be the ultimate test to verify that the M72/ASO1E —so called— works in real populations, beyond the clinical trials, where it had an efficiency of 50%, according to recent results, presented this Tuesday.

“you Can become a key tool for ending the epidemic,” said Ann Ginsberg, of the non-profit organization, IAVI, along with the pharmaceutical company GSK has developed the immunization. The tuberculosis is the infectious disease that more human lives are cobra —more than 1.5 million a year, ahead of HIV— despite having a treatment that works for the large majority of patients. One of the big problems is the under-diagnosis: of the 10 million new cases each year, only detected a 70%. The other three million patients do not know they are (or what exactly), so they are not treated and the condition is compounded at the time that continue to infect the bacterium, which is transmitted through the air. Therefore, experts see the key to the development of an immunization that will prevent that occurring a good number of infections.

The vaccine has limited effectiveness. In addition to having worked in half of the cases, it is only effective among HIV-negative people who have latent infection, and only to the variant pulmonary which, yes, is by far the most frequent. Experts estimate that about a quarter of the world’s population carries the bacteria without developing the disease; of these, only between 5% and 10% suffer from tuberculosis. “To protect these individuals is going to be the only way in the short term to curb new infections and control this epidemic,” said Mark Hatherill, co-chair of TBScience 2019, where have been presented the results. It is a day prior to the 50th Conference of the World Union on Lung Health, which begins Wednesday in Hyderabad (India), to which THE COUNTRY goes invited by the organization.

What you have just presented is the result of phase 2b. That is to say, it has already been proven that it is safe —has few risks, “acceptable”, in the words of its developers— and their effectiveness. In this case, 50% after three years of administration. The vaccine is ready for a third phase: a mass administration in endemic locations to verify that these results are replicated in real-world scenarios.

The tuberculosis is the infectious disease that more human lives are charged: more than 1.5 million a year, ahead of HIV

The World Health Organization, which has received the results with “enthusiasm” is already preparing for a high-level meeting between the developers of the vaccine, funders and endemic countries to profile how, where and when will this next phase. In the absence of all of these details, sources GSK point out that the scenario can be similar to the one that came with the malaria vaccine, which is currently being tested on a large scale in Malawi, Ghana and Kenya. This test mass was started in 2019, four years after the vaccine exceeds the phase 2b, which now just make the M72/ASO1E.

According to the representative of IAVI, in case of success, the vaccine will be one more tool, but probably not the only one. Although it is the one that has come from far further away, there are a total of 15 immunizations in research. Have different characteristics: while this has as a target to the people with the bacteria is latent, others (such as one of Spanish origin that faces the phase 2b) will be aimed at the population that does not la porta and others, to protect people who have developed the disease. “It is unlikely that a single vaccine to cover all aspects, so it is better to have several,” said Ginsberg. The only one that exists is effective only in the variant disseminated and visceral, not against the lung, the most dangerous for its great ability to spread.

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