The existing TB vaccine, the attenuated Mycobacterium bovis strain BCG, is effective in protecting infants from severe forms of the disease, while its efficacy in protecting adults from pulmonary TB is poor. In the last two decades, a renewed interest in TB resulted in the development of several candidate vaccines that are now entering clinical trials. However, most of these vaccines are based on a common rationale and aim to induce a strong T-cell response against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Recent advancements in the understanding of M. tuberculosis virulence determinants and associated pathogenic strategies are opening a new and broader view of the complex interaction between this remarkable pathogen and the human host, providing insights at molecular level that could lead to a new rationale for the design of novel antitubercular vaccines. A vaccination strategy that simultaneously targets different steps in TB pathogenesis may result in improved protection and reduced TB transmission.
- infectious diseases