What is India's status in tuberculosis (TB)?
India has the highest number of TB cases in the world. In India, an estimated 2.8 million patients were suffering from the disease in 2016, while 425,000 patients were estimated to have died during the year.
Any targets for TB eradication?
GOI aims to eradicate TB in India by 2025.
What is the TB vaccine trial that is going on and on whom?
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has started a vaccine trial to prevent tuberculosis (TB) among those living close to patients suffering from the disease. The clinical trial is aimed at preventing and decreasing the burden of TB in the country.
The study will enrol more than 12,000 healthy members of households who are in contact with sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients, and are at high risk of contracting the disease. The trial has commenced at the National Institute of TB and Respiratory Diseases (NITRD).
Which vaccines are being tried?
Two potential vaccine candidates VPM 1002, produced by Serum Institute of India, Pune, and MIP (Mycrobacterium Indicus Pranii), were shortlisted for vaccine trials.
What are the immediate and long term goals of the trials?
There is a critical need for new TB vaccines that are more effective than the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine in preventing pulmonary as well as extra pulmonary forms of TB in all age groups.
This clinical trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of these two vaccines in a single trial against control group (not suffering from the disease). The clinical trials are needed in India to show that the vaccine is safe and effective, and that it can provide protection to Indian populations where the disease is endemic.
The ultimate goal is to develop a vaccine that can prevent active TB and be a part of large campaigns aimed at eliminating the disease. This clinical study in India could help achieve this goal and significantly advance the global fight against TB," he added.