Researchers at James Cook University have injected some hope into the search for an adult vaccine for tuberculosis.
They’ve been working on a potential vaccine, known as BCG::RD1, which they gave to a group of diabetic mice, who were then exposed to TB and were protected from the illness.
Tuberculosis is one of the top ten causes of death world-wide and the only vaccine currently available doesn’t work in adults.
“These findings are especially welcome because type 2 diabetes is not just a significant risk factor for TB, it’s a risk factor that becomes more widespread every year in our aging population,” said the university’s Dr Andreas Kupz.
Researchers have also discovered just how type 2 diabetes increases the risk of TB.
“It appears that type 2 diabetes negatively impacts on how our immune system senses tuberculosis-causing bacteria in the lung and that vaccination with BCG::RD1 can overcome this defect,” said lead author Harindra Sathkumara.
“This makes BCG::RD1 a promising candidate for further investigation with a view to use as a vaccine for older people and those with type 2 diabetes,” he said.
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