NIH Awards Contracts to Advance Tuberculosis Immunology Research
Published:27 Sep.2019    Source:National Institutes of Health

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded $30 million in first-year funding to establish new centers for immunology research to accelerate progress in tuberculosis (TB) vaccine development.

 

New and improved TB vaccines are badly needed. Over the past 200 years, TB has claimed the lives of more than 1 billion people—more deaths than from malaria, influenza, smallpox, HIV/AIDS, cholera and plague combined. TB is the world’s leading infectious cause of death and remains a major global health concern. TB is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), which spreads from person to person through airborne transmission. Nearly one-quarter of the world’s population has latent Mtb infection, meaning they carry the bacteria in an inactive form but are not ill and do not transmit Mtb to others. People with latent TB have a 5 to 10% lifetime risk of developing active TB disease. The probability of developing active TB is considerably higher in those who are immunocompromised.