Scientists are a step-closer to developing a more effective vaccine against the world’s deadliest infectious disease, following a breakthrough involving researchers from the Centenary Institute in Sydney.
In a study published in the scientific journal Mucosal Immunology, the group has demonstrated how a sub-unit vaccine (based on the Influenza A virus) can be used to activate special memory T-cells in the lungs, which in turn, helps protect against tuberculosis.
Head of Centenary’s Tuberculosis Research Program, Professor Warwick Britton, who is also the Director of Research for Sydney Local Health District, believes the study has led to a significant breakthrough in the quest to eliminate tuberculosis.
“We are already using this breakthrough to develop other sub-unit vaccines, suitable for delivery to the lungs in humans,” says Professor Britton.
It’s hoped the ongoing research will be bolstered by those on-the-ground in regions with a high prevalence of TB. Dr Heni Muflihah was able to work on the project as a PhD student at Centenary in Sydney, thanks to funding provided by the Australian Government. She has since returned to her native Indonesia, where she will be able to continue contributing to TB research in the field.
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