New tuberculosis vaccine being tested

The Manica Health Research Centre (CISM) in southern Mozambique is working on trials of a new vaccine against tuberculosis.

The research, financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, began about two months ago, and involves a vaccine called AERAS 402. It is being tested on 14 children under the age of three in Manhica district, to see whether it is effective in producing anti-bodies that will protect against tuberculosis.

Kizito Gondo, the tuberculosis programme officer at the CISM, told AIM that the study is still in its safety phase. To date, the 14 children have received two doses of the vaccine – one at the start of the study, and the second after 28 days.

“After a period of two months, further analyses will be made to ascertain whether the vaccine is effective or not at laboratory level”, he said. “The idea is to see whether the children are able to produce anti-bodies”.

Gondo said that AERAS 402 does not prevent the administration of BCG, the standard vaccine against tuberculosis, or any of the other vaccines used in Mozambique’s Expanded Vaccination Programme (PAV).

But if AERAS 402 proves effective, it will replace BCG, the effectiveness of which is waning.

In addition to Mozambique, the new vaccine is being tested in South Africa, Kenya, the United states and India. According to Gondo, by the end of the various phases of the study, 1,000 children will have been involved.

Post published in: Africa News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *