A new vaccine that could stop the tuberculosis (TB) bacterium from becoming deadly by suppressing it at the so-called latent phase has shown promise in a Cape Town study. TB is the leading cause of death in SA where about 50% to 80% of adults are infected with the dormant bacterium. Not all cases become active, but people living with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk for the disease becoming active. A team of researchers‚ headed by Prof Mark Hatherill of the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI)‚ tested varying doses of the new vaccine on 54 people living near Cape Town. Some had a dormant TB infection‚ but all were healthy. In a special edition of The Lancet Respiratory Medicine publication where the study was reported‚ Hatherill said: "Globally‚ approximately 10% of people infected with the TB bug develop TB disease over their lifetime‚ but a vaccine such as [this] could help prevent the disease." Rather than just targeting the TB bacterium itself...

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