Sumary of Africa: TB Prevention Has Relied On the Same Vaccine for 100 Years. It’s Time for Something New:
- The first dose of the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine was administered on July 18 1921. The Conversation Africa’s Ina Skosana poses key questions to Bavesh Kana, one of South Africa’s leading TB researchers.
- Conducting multi-centre clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy in different populations over a period of years can cost billions.
- The vaccine then produces an early immune response that has been demonstrated to protect children against severe forms of TB.
- However, this immunity usually wanes in adolescence and thereafter.
- The reasons for this remain a mystery and much effort has been placed recently in developing biomarkers that will identify which new vaccines will eventually yield long-lasting immunity.
- Biomarkers are signals that one can pick up in blood or other clinical specimens that give a predictive sense of whether a vaccine is going to work.