New Vaccine Reduces TB Incidence by 37% Among HIV-Positive People, Study Says
October 23, 2008
A new tuberculosis vaccine reduced the incidence of the disease by 37% among HIV-positive people during a clinical trial in Tanzania, according to a study presented by lead researcher Ford von Reyn at the 39th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Paris, This Day reports.
According to von Reyn, the low incidence of disseminated TB can be attributed to the aggressive efforts of trial physicians to diagnose TB before it spread from the lungs. A lack of trial follow-up also could account for the low incidence, as 16% of participants failed to continue the trial, possibly because of sickness. Although the study found no significant reduction in the rates of probable TB, the vaccine appeared to maintain its protective effects for one year when the researchers plotted the event rate in a Kaplan-Meier graph, This Day reports.
According to the study investigators, reducing the TB incidence by 37% demonstrates that the new vaccine provides significant protection against TB, because "anything more than 20% is very favorable in the context of a very common complication of AIDS," von Reyn said. He added that Tanzania's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is interested in implementing a vaccination program, which would require licensing the vaccine and identifying a manufacturer capable of producing sufficient amounts for large-scale immunizations. According to von Reyn, a remaining challenge for the vaccine will be to examine its effects among HIV-positive people with CD4 counts fewer than 200 (This Day, 10/22).
Kaisernetwork.org is the official webcaster of the Union TB conference. Webcasts of select sessions, interviews and other resources are available online.
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.