New method to assist fast-tracking of vaccines for pre-clinical tests

Novel tuberculosis vaccine demonstrated strong immune response in mice

- MEDIA RELEASE -


Scientists in Australia have developed a method for the rapid synthesis of safe vaccines, an approach that can be used to test vaccine strategies against novel pandemic pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.


Led by Professor Richard Payne at the University of Sydney and TB-CRE Chief Investigator Professor Warwick Britton at the Centenary Institute, the team has demonstrated application of the method with a new vaccine for use against tuberculosis (TB), which has generated a powerful protective immune response in mice.


Researchers are keen to develop the vaccine strategy further to assist in the rapid pre-clinical testing of new vaccines, particularly for respiratory illnesses.


“Tuberculosis infects 10 million and kills more than 1.4 million people every year,” said joint first author Dr Anneliese Ashhurst from the University of Sydney. “Historically, it is the leading cause of death worldwide from a single infectious agent.


“So far, a TB vaccine that is highly effective and safe to use in all populations has eluded medical science.”


The only current vaccine for tuberculosis, the Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine, uses an injected live bacterium. It is effective in infants but has reduced effectiveness in adolescents and adults and poses significant health risks for immunocompromised patients, particularly for people living with HIV/AIDS.