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Report: 11 TB vaccines in late-stage development could soon help reduce disease

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Eleven vaccines against Tuberculosis (TB) are currently in phase II and III stages of development, bringing hope in curbing the rising disease burden globally. According to a report from GlobalData, the vaccines show promising safety and efficacy results, with the potential to save countless lives.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that TB affects around 1.8 billion people worldwide and is a leading cause of death globally. The report highlights the significance of the 11 vaccines in development, including the Gamaleya Federal Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology mTBvac and the University of Zaragoza’s MTBVAC, both in Phase III development.

Anaelle Tannen, Infectious Disease Analyst at GlobalData, emphasized the importance of progress in TB vaccine development, stating that it could reduce the health and socio-economic burden associated with the disease. Early detection is crucial for TB, as symptoms like chronic cough and bloody mucus may not be present in all cases. Prompt diagnosis can lead to effective antibiotic treatment and proper nutrition to control the infection.

Tannen stressed the significance of prevention and early diagnosis in halting the spread of TB. The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is currently the only prophylactic available, with up to 80% effectiveness in preventing TB infection in young children for up to 15 years. However, there is an urgent need for updated and improved vaccines to combat TB in adolescents and adults, where BCG’s protection wanes.

Governments worldwide are urged to take action against TB by increasing investment, raising awareness, and adopting WHO recommendations. Tannen emphasized the collective effort needed to combat the deadly disease, highlighting the importance of global collaboration to reduce the burden of TB over time. World TB Day on March 24 serves as a reminder of the ongoing battle against tuberculosis.

IANS

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