New Cuban Tuberculosis Vaccine Candidate in Preclinical Studies

Screen shot 2014-08-29 at 8.00.43 AMHavana_ Cuban scientists are conducting preclinical studies to assess the efficacy of a new vaccine candidate against tuberculosis (TB), a disease that has been declared a global health emergency since 1993.

Scientist Iliana Valdés, from the Pedro Kourí Tropical Medicine Institute, told the Prensa Latina news agency that her team is working with Mycobacterium habana, an autochthonous mycobacterium that has remained isolated at Cuban labs since 1971. Some studies conducted on animals have shown it may be effective against tuberculosis and other diseases.

“We are currently in the preclinical phase, which involves tests on animals, and we still have to pass through additional phases before testing it on humans,” Valdés said.

The number of drug-resistant strains of TB bacteria is constantly growing, and the BCG vaccine currently available around the world only provides protection against severe childhood forms of the disease, not against pulmonary tuberculosis, hence the insistence from many scientists on finding
a new vaccine.

The Havana Reporter, August 8, 2014

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