Nano-engineered ultra stable, live cell vaccines against tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, a deadly pathogen that infects a third of the world’s population, is on the rise. The increased prevalence of drug resistant strains makes treatment very challenging. The clear way forward is in prevention via vaccination; however the current vaccine, Mycobacterium bovis BCG, is handicapped by its highly variable efficacy, use of needles, difficulty in transportation and its requirement for constant refrigeration . However, even state of the art live-cell vaccine candidates remain susceptible to ambient temperatures, and improvements in live-cell formulations have been modest [see reference 1]. In order to address the increasing prevalence of tuberculosis, vaccine candidates must therefore be developed. They must be scalable; easily handled, transported and distributed; active as vaccines; and, most critically, they must maintain cell viability and bioactivity without refrigeration. To address these conditions, we developed an immunologically active formulation that offers high tolerance to environmental stress and long shelf life for live-cell vaccines.