Testing a novel, self-adjuvanting mucosal vaccine candidate for TB in the mouse model of infection
Led by Dr Andy Tran (SGUL, UK), with Prof Andrea Cooper (University of Leicester, UK) and Prof Rajko Reljic (SGUL, UK)
Tuberculosis (TB) predominantly affects the lungs and is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Despite being among the oldest known human pathogens and one of the first to be identified as a causative agent of an infectious human disease, there is currently only one licensed vaccine against TB, Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG), which offers highly variable levels of protection against pulmonary TB in adults. With the increasing burden of drug resistant TB, it is imperative that we continue to test and develop new and more effective vaccine strategies.
We propose that the "next generation" of TB vaccines should be focused on mucosal delivery to offer increased efficacy compared to BCG, in addition to a lower cost and ease of adminstration in low-middle income settings where TB is most prevalent. In this project, we will test a novel vaccine candidate, TB-PCF, based on our 'all-in-one' patented vaccine delivery system that does not require living organisms or chemical compounds (adjuvants) for it to induce a robust immune response after respiratory delivery. This can dramatically accelerate quality control and clinical development and testing, by reducing the number of discrete components required in a vaccine candidate, while inducing robust immunity. This project aims to test this novel vaccine candidate against TB in the mouse model of infection, using the mucosal route of vaccine delivery. Immune response to TB-PCF vaccination, with or without prior vaccination with systemic BCG, will be determined. Protective efficacy of the new vaccination regimen against pathogenic TB challenge will be also determined, and if successful, this will pave the way for further development of TB-PCF as a potential new BCG-boost TB vaccine candidate.