Tested successfully a new vaccine against tuberculosis that improves the protection

CReSA researchers have tested for the first time and successfully the new vaccine, designed at the Jenner Institute (UK). The study has been conducted using domestic goats, which reproduce active tuberculosis in humans with a high similitude. The new vaccine acts by reinforcing the efficacy of the BCG vaccine, the only one available to date.

A vaccine that reinforces the efficacy of the only vaccine available nowadays.

In the last 90 years, only one vaccine against tuberculosis has been marketed across the world, the so-called BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin), but its efficacy is quite limited and a number of research groups are working with the aim of finding a universal vaccine that replaces or reinforces it.

Now, researchers of CReSA have completed the first non-clinical study for a new vaccine against tuberculosis, known as AdTBF, a vaccine based in a recombinant, non-pathogenic virus that expresses four proteins of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the agent that causes tuberculosis). The study was designed by Dr Bernat Pérez de Val and Dr Mariano Domingo, professor also at the Departament d’Anatomia I Sanitat Animals (department of animal anatomy and health) of UAB, and has been conducted in collaboration with researchers from the Jenner Institute, who designed the vaccine, and from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency from the United Kingdom –both research institutes being leaders worldwide in vaccine development.

The experiments, conducted at CReSA’s level 3 biosafety facilities, have allowed to prove that goats inoculated with BCG and subsequently with the new AdTBF vaccine show a higher protection against tuberculosis than those inoculated only with BCG. In particular, the new vaccine reinforces the immune system against tuberculosis infection decreasing lesions and bacteria replication.

The goat, a fitting model for studying new anti-tuberculosis treatments and vaccines

The animal species selected for this first study was the domestic goat, which is a suitable animal model for studying new treatments and vaccines against tuberculosis, and with which CReSA researchers have been working on the last few years.

The animal models usually used in research, such as the mouse or the guinea pig, are a problem in that they do not reproduce the lesions characteristic of human tuberculosis, and end up dying due to a rapid progression of the infection instead of reproducing a chronic process as it happens in humans and big mammals. Therefore, it is necessary to use a big animal model which better reproduces what happens in the human being.

While the goat reproduces the pathological characteristics and immune response to active tuberculosis infection in humans with a high similitude, it is also a natural host of tuberculosis and thus, from the animal health point of view and since tuberculosis is endemic in goats in many countries, this model allows studying the potential use of the vaccine in farm animals as well.

The study has been recently published in the journal PLOS ONE: A multi-antigenic adenoviral-vectored vaccine improves BCG-induced protection of goats against pulmonary tuberculosis infection and prevents disease progression. B. Pérez de Val, E. Vidal, B. Villarreal-Ramos, S. C. Gilbert, A. Andaluz, X. Moll, M. Martín, M. Nofrarías, H. McShane, H. M. Vordermeier y M. Domingo. PLOS ONE 8: e81317.

To contact with the main researcher in the study:

Dr. Bernat Pérez de Val
Email: bernat.perez@cresa.uab.cat
Phone: +34 93 581 45 26
Edifici CReSA. Campus UAB.
08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona) Spain

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