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TB VACCINE CLUSTER


Tuberculosis

A Cluster for Tuberculosis Vaccine Development
Framework programme:
5
Project number:
QLK2-CT-1999-01093
EC contribution:
€ 4 999 996
Duration:
36 months
Type:
RS
Starting date:
1 February 2000

Keywords: Tuberculosis; vaccine; immunity; genomic; genetics

Summary:

Recent progress in the fields of mycobacterial genetics, vaccinology and immunology provide exciting new opportunities for development of improved vaccines for tuberculosis (TB). The most effective approach to translating these opportunities into products involves construction and comparative analysis of multiple vaccine candidates, and requires the concerted efforts of academic and industrial researchers. The Cluster for TB Vaccine Development provides a European approach to accelerated vaccine development based on an integrated, goal-orientated, strategy. The cluster combines innovative approaches to a generation of vaccine candidates with the establishment of standardised protocols for their pre-clinical evaluation, and fundamental research into immunological mechanisms and correlates of protection. The overall goal of the cluster is to bring one or more vaccine candidates from the laboratory to a stage suitable for initiation of clinical trials within three years. The availability of an effective vaccination strategy for TB control would have major impact on health and quality of life in the EU and worldwide.

Problem:

Tuberculosis remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, accounting for more human lives than any other single infectious disease. After decades of declining incidence, the number of infected individuals is increasing once again in developed as well as developing countries, with the spread of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis making treatment of the disease increasingly difficult. In spite of long lasting and well-conducted control programmes, the EU remains vulnerable to a spread of tuberculosis by immigration and travel from developing countries, and from countries that belonged to the former Soviet Union.

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