New clues in the fight against tuberculosis

Taane Clark, Professor of Genomics and Global Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Dr Ruth McNerney from the University of Cape Town.

Have you ever wondered why there is not an effective vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), a disease that kills one and half million people each and every year? Or why having an episode of TB does not give protection against a new infection like other diseases such a measles? The answer lies in the fact that TB is an ancient disease and the bacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis)has, over the millennia, evolved clever ways of evading the human immune system. To make an effective vaccine we first need to understand the tricks employed by the bacteria to allow them to survive and thrive within the human body.

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