Research ArticleTuberculosis

Immunogenicity of the Tuberculosis Vaccine MVA85A Is Reduced by Coadministration with EPI Vaccines in a Randomized Controlled Trial in Gambian Infants

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Science Translational Medicine  22 Jun 2011:
Vol. 3, Issue 88, pp. 88ra56
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002461

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Timing Is Everything

Anyone who bought a house right before the housing bubble burst knows that it’s not only what you do but when you do it that matters. Likewise, when introducing a new vaccine, timing is crucial—it may be easier to ensure compliance if the immunization is offered when the patient is already visiting the doctor. However, some vaccines may not be as effective if given at the same time as other shots. Ota et al. explored this phenomenon for a new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine in a clinical trial of Gambian infants.

The Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) provides a country-specific schedule of standard vaccinations to increase vaccine coverage in underserved populations. The current vaccine for TB, Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), is used in the EPI; however, BCG is only partially effective against TB, especially in adults. Ota et al. tested MVA85A, a novel vaccine designed to enhance BCG, in infants in Gambia. They found that MVA85A was safe and well tolerated and successfully induced a cellular immune response in recipients. Coadministration of MVA85A and the EPI vaccines did not affect the antibody responses to the latter but did reduce the immunogenicity of MVA85A. Thus, the EPI schedule may have to be modified for successful vaccination before the introduction of MVA85A and potentially other new T cell–inducing vaccines as well. In vaccination, as in life, timing is everything.

Footnotes

  • Citation: M. O. C. Ota, A. A. Odutola, P. K. Owiafe, S. Donkor, O. A. Owolabi, N. J. Brittain, N. Williams, S. Rowland-Jones, A. V. S. Hill, R. A. Adegbola, H. McShane, Immunogenicity of the Tuberculosis Vaccine MVA85A Is Reduced by Coadministration with EPI Vaccines in a Randomized Controlled Trial in Gambian Infants. Sci. Transl. Med. 3, 88ra56 (2011).

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