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The World in Medicine
November 17, 2004

TB Vaccine Boost

JAMA. 2004;292(19):2329. doi:10.1001/jama.292.19.2329-d

An experimental tuberculosis (TB) vaccine may provide a way to enhance protective effects of the BCG TB vaccine, which is widely used but offers limited protection for adults, reported researchers from England and Belgium in the November Nature Medicine.

The researchers found that the candidate vaccine, a modified vaccinia virus expressing a TB bacterial antigen, induced an immune response (indicated by high levels of interferon-gamma-secreting antigen-specific T cells) in volunteers who had never been vaccinated. Volunteers who had previously received the BCG vaccine had substantially stronger responses, and at 24 weeks after vaccination, these levels were 5 to 30 times greater than those of vaccinees given a single BCG vaccination.

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