Malaria Vaccine Trials and Immunity


Tuberculosis remains a major global health problem with an estimated 8 to 10 million new cases each year with an associated mortality of approximately 3 million. The currently available vaccine, BCG, is of variable efficacy and is least effective in highly endemic areas. There is an increasing incidence of multi-drug resistant strains of TB making treatment more difficult and thus there is an urgent need for an improved vaccine.

As with malaria, strong T cell responses are believed to be important in protective immunity to TB. Dr Helen McShane has been studying the cellular responses to BCG and new vaccine strategies for a number of years and is now starting clinical trials of new vaccine candidates.


MVA-85A is the first vaccine candidate to be tested. This is an MVA virus that has been genetically modified so that it encodes an important antigen from TB called Antigen 85A. Previous work has demonstrated that MVA-based vaccines are very good at boosting an already primed immune response. Initial studies are investigating whether MVA-85A is capable of boosting the immune response generated by BCG vaccination.

If you would be interested in volunteering for a TB vaccine trial, please contact Dr Helen McShane: