BCG or Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a vaccine used broadly worldwide to offer protection against tuberculosis (TB). A massive group of people gains protection against this infectious disease. Still, many people die due to TB every year. It seems like the vaccine does not offer overall protection, particularly when given via skin. Thus, researchers have tried another way to deploy the vaccine. A new study, published in the journal Nature, reveals that the medication can offer complete protection against TB when given intravenously. Scientists from the NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have conducted the clinical trial on monkeys.
First of all, they had divided the 52 macaque monkeys into six different groups. One of the teams remained unprotected, and others received the medication in various doses. Some had a standard dose, while a group had a powerful dose. Besides this, some monkeys inhaled mist of the vaccine, while some gained mist and a jab. Eventually, one group gained the most powerful dose of vaccine through a vein. The researchers have discovered that there remained little or no infection in the lungs of monkeys who received the intravenous vaccine.
Scientists say deploying the vaccine in this new mean could lessen the number of deaths due to TB. Currently, TB is the leading infectious disease liable for the death of hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. Reportedly, in 2018, over 1 million people have died due to TB. Well, it is a result despite the massive use of vaccines that offers protection against one strain of the disease. Still, BCG remains unreliable when it comes to fighting against the main type of TB. NIH’s Dr. Robert Seder, senior author of the study, had arisen the idea of IV vaccination before a few years. At the time, he had experimented on a malaria vaccine, which offered better results when given through a vein. Dr. Robert has attempted to apply the same idea in the case of the TB vaccine.