Medical News Today: Giving TB vaccine intravenously boosts efficacy

Experiments in rhesus macaques show that changing the mode of administration of an existing vaccine yields “amazing” results in the fight against tuberculosis (TB).

someone getting a vaccine
Share on Pinterest
Delivering the TB vaccine intravenously rather than intradermally may prove significantly more effective.

Globally, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause of death from infection, ranking higher than HIV and AIDS.

Approximately 10 million people across the world contracted TB in 2018, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Although most of these cases tend to occur in Southeast Asia and Africa, drug resistant TB is a “public health threat” worldwide.

There is currently only one available vaccine, which is called bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG). Healthcare professionals administer the vaccine intradermally; that is, they inject it directly under the skin.

However, with this mode of administration, the effectiveness of the vaccine varies significantly from person to person. But, new research suggests, administering the vaccine intravenously instead could drastically improve its efficiency.

JoAnne Flynn, Ph.D., who is a professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research in Pennsylvania, led the new research together with Dr. Robert Seder from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, MD.

Flynn and her colleagues published their findings in the journal Nature.