The Topic

A new, and potentially better, vaccine for tuberculosis was recently announced by a team of researchers at a global summit on lung health in Hyderabad, India.

It is expected that the vaccine will be available for clinical use in 2028, and researchers believe it will provide long-term protection against the disease, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kills 1.3 million worldwide annually.

Jean B. Nachega headshot
Jean B. Nachega

Our Expert's Take

A high proportion of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) cases can be cured in conflict-affected communities with molecular diagnostics, shorter treatment periods and socioeconomic incentives, according to the results of a large, long-term study in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the findings of which were published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases in February.

“Conventional treatment regimens for multidrug resistant TB can be as much as 1,000 times more expensive and take four times as long as treatment for regular TB. The cure rate is only about 50%, and treatment can have severe side effects,” said senior study author Jean B. Nachega, an associate professor in Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health and director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. 

The findings could guide workers in other post-conflict or low-income countries battling or at risk for TB outbreaks.