Nav: Home

Fresh approach to TB vaccine offers better protection

January 17, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. - A unique platform that resulted in a promising HIV vaccine has also led to a new, highly effective vaccine against tuberculosis that is moving toward testing in humans.

The new vaccine completely protected 41 percent and reduced overall TB disease by 68 percent in vaccinated rhesus macaques, according to a study published as an Advanced Online Publication of Nature Medicine. In contrast, there was no measurable protection in the rhesus macaques - a monkey species that is closely related to humans - treated with today's standard TB vaccine, the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine.

"With more than 1.7 million people dying globally from TB each year and the rise of strains that are resistant to drug treatment, we need a better way to prevent this disease," said the study's principal investigator Louis Picker, M.D., who is the associate director of the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and a professor of pathology, molecular microbiology, and immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

"Because rhesus monkeys are significantly more susceptible to TB than humans and, given how effective our new TB vaccine has been in these monkeys, we feel that the human version of our vaccine could have the potential to be even more effective in protecting humans," Picker said.

TB disease is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is spread through the air, and can lead to violent cough attacks involving spitting up blood. Most people infected with TB don't even know it; only five to 10 percent show symptoms. A vaccine already exists, but it largely only protects children and its efficacy varies widely.

Picker and his colleagues have taken a different approach to vaccination. They use a weakened form of a common Herpes virus - cytomegalovirus, or CMV, which infects most people without causing disease. In collaboration with the TB nonprofit Aeras, they wove tiny bits of a disease-causing pathogen into the CMV. This re-engineered CMV creates and maintains a high state of immunity against the pathogen in vaccinated monkeys. This approach has the potential to work better than standard vaccines for aggressive pathogens that infect quickly, overrun a person's immune response, or can hide from the immune system.

The new TB vaccine reduced overall disease by 68 percent in vaccinated monkeys. About 41 percent of vaccinated monkeys were completely protected from TB, while 30 percent had less severe disease than unvaccinated monkeys, and another 30 percent showed no benefit from the vaccine. This level of protection has never been seen before in rhesus macaques with the standard TB vaccine.

Next, Picker and colleagues will work to better define the biological mechanisms by which their new TB vaccine works. They will also work with Vir Biotechnology, Inc. of San Francisco, which has licensed aspects of their CMV-based vaccine approach, to expand testing with plans to start a human clinical trial in 2020.

Vir Biotechnology plans to manufacture the HIV/AIDS vaccine, which is also made with CMV, in 2018 and a human clinical trial is slated for 2019.

The success of both vaccines thus far in stringent monkey models has led Picker and his colleagues to believe their CMV-based approach to making vaccines has the potential to be engineered to tackle a variety of infectious diseases.
-end-
This research was supported by Aeras, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (grant OPP1087783), and the National Institutes of Health (grants U19 AI106761, P51 OD011092 and U42 OD010426).

In our interest of ensuring the integrity of our research and as part of our commitment to public transparency, OHSU actively regulates, tracks and manages relationships that our researchers may hold with entities outside of OHSU. In regards to this research project, OHSU and Drs. Picker, Hansen, Malouli and Früh have a significant financial interest in Vir Biotechnology, Inc., a company that may have a commercial interest in the results of this research and technology.

REFERENCE: Scott G. Hansen, Daniel E. Zak, Guangwu Xu, Julia C. Ford, Emily E. Marshall, Daniel Malouli, Roxanne M. Gilbride, Colette M. Hughes, Abigail B. Ventura, Emily Ainslie, Kurt T. Randall, Andrea N. Selseth, Parker Rundstrom, Lauren Herlache, Matthew S. Lewis, Haesun Park, Shannon L. Planer, John M. Turner, Miranda Fischer, Christina Armstrong, Robert C. Zweig, Joseph Valvo, Jackie M. Braun, Smitha Shankar, Lenette Lu, Andrew W. Sylwester, Alfred W. Legasse, Martin Messerle, Michael A. Jarvis, Lynn M. Amon, Alan Aderem, Gali Alter, Dominick J. Laddy, Michele Stone, Aurelio Bonavia, Thomas G Evans, Michael K. Axthelm, Klaus Fruh, Paul T. Edlefsen, Louis J. Picker, "Prevention of tuberculosis in rhesus macaques by a cytomegalovirus-based vaccine," Advanced Online Publication of Nature Medicine, Jan. 15, 2017, DOI: 10.1038/nm.4473, https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.4473.

Links:News:

Oregon Health & Science University

Related Vaccines Articles:

Understanding T cell activation could lead to new vaccines
Scientists could be one step closer to developing vaccines against viruses such as Zika, West Nile or HIV, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.
Vaccines do work for pandemic flu, says study
Vaccines are successful in preventing pandemic flu and reducing the number of patients hospitalized as a result of the illness, a study led by academics at the University of Nottingham has found.
Research could lead to better vaccines and new antivirals
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have identified a new regulator of the innate immune response -- the immediate, natural immune response to foreign invaders.
Toward opioid vaccines that can help prevent overdose fatalities
In 2014, the number of deaths from opioid overdoses in the US jumped to its highest level on record.
New, more effective strategy for producing flu vaccines
A team of researchers led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, professor of pathobiological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, has developed technology that could improve the production of vaccines that protect people from influenza B.
A method for storing vaccines at room temperature
Several simple and inexpensive techniques make it possible to store antiviral-vaccines at room temperature for several months.
Engineers design programmable RNA vaccines
MIT engineers have designed programmable RNA vaccines that could be rapidly manufactured and deployed.
Zika vaccines protect mice from infection
A single dose of either of two experimental Zika vaccines fully protected mice challenged with Zika virus four or eight weeks after receiving the inoculations.
Can we hypercharge vaccines?
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital report that a fatty chemical naturally found in damaged tissues can induce an unexpected kind of immune response, causing immune cells to go into a 'hyperactive' state that is highly effective at rallying infection-fighting T-cells.
Vaccines: Don't leave home without them
While Americans should be fully vaccinated before travelling internationally to avoid infection with highly contagious diseases such as measles and hepatitis A, many are not, suggest two studies being presented at IDWeek 2015™.

Related Vaccines Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".