Dr Helen McShane has been working on a new TB vaccine for 10 years. She explains why developing countries are especially in need of a new vaccine since HIV and TB epidemics overlap and show a devastating synergy.
There are about 9 million new cases and 1.7 million deaths every year from tuberculosis. Dr Helen McShane developed MVA85A, a vaccine with the aim to boost the cellular immune response induced by BCG. BCG, now over 100 years old, remains the only licensed vaccine against Tuberculosis. It confers good protection against severe disease and meningitis but doesn't protect against lung disease. MVA85A was the first vaccine of the new generation to enter into efficacy testing. It is currently being tested in The Gambia, Senegal and South Africa.