Delivering the TB Vaccines in Veins Could Increase its EfficiencyLakshmi Lund (Author) Published Date : Jan 02, 2020 18:34 IST
Administering the tuberculosis vaccine in the veins instead of delivering it in the skin can increase its potency: A new research study that was performed on animals has proven that administering the tuberculosis vaccine in the veins instead of delivering it in the skin can increase its potency.
The 80-year-old vaccine is a game-changer in combating the deadly tuberculosis infection, which is better known as TB. The Bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG) vaccine for TB is given to infants and children in countries where the infection is common among the population. However, despite administering the vaccine, it has come to light that the same is not so effective in combating the infection.
Medical practitioners administer the tuberculosis vaccine in the skin of patients. However, a team of medical experts has discovered that by changing the way the BCG is administered, can possibly change the way it works. Robert Seder and his colleagues from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Maryland have carried out research in animals. The research study was recently published in a reputed research journal.
The experiment was performed on monkeys. For the study, a set of monkeys was handpicked. The vaccine was administered in the monkeys in a variety of ways. About six months after receiving the vaccine, the lungs of the respective monkeys were individually watched.
The experiment brought to light that the animals who received the vaccine in the skin, regardless of receiving a high dosage of the same, we're only a little protected than the monkeys who did not receive the vaccine at all. Another interesting aspect of the research study is the fact that a majority of the animals, about 9 out of 10 of them on whom a higher dosage of the vaccine was administered in the veins instead of the skin, proved that the vaccine worked better. Furthermore, the research team also learned that no trace of the TB infection was found in six of the animals, besides very low levels of the infection was found in the lungs of three of them.
Across the world, the tuberculosis infection has a high mortality rate, killing about 1.7 million people every year. BCG is reportedly the only vaccine to deal with the infection, is widely used in countries that are declared high risk in acquiring the infection. Having successfully performed the experiment on monkeys, researchers are planning to carry out tests on human beings. A source who is familiar with the developments, states that clinical trials on human beings could be carried out roughly some 18 months down the line.