Tuberculosis (TB) is a global health problem, killing 1.5 million of people every year. The only currently available vaccine, Mycobacterium bovis BCG, is effective against severe childhood forms, but it demonstrates a variable efficacy against the pulmonary form of TB in adults. Many of these adult TB cases result from the reactivation of an initially controlled, latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection. Effective prophylactic vaccination remains the key long-term strategy for combating TB.
The primary outcome of EMI-TB will be a novel vaccine candidate for TB that will either boost or supplement systemic BCG and thus confer a superior level of protection against primary and reactivation TB infection.
The secondary outcomes will be:
- Development of several generic vaccine delivery platforms that could be used against other infectious diseases.
- An improved understanding of protective immune mechanisms in TB, especially those operating in the mucosa.
- Better predictors of vaccine efficacy and correlates of protection.
- Improved animal models of MTB infection for vaccine testing.