EU determined to eradicate TB
Marking World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on 24 March, the European Commission has announced a collaborative TB initiative providing 32 million euro for two overlapping research projects.
This initiative, the largest ever of its kind, brings together 52 research teams from Europe and Africa to find a new, more effective vaccine, for a disease that kills two million people every year.
'Despite today's potential in scientific knowledge and technology, poverty-related diseases such as tuberculosis are not eradicated yet. More than ever, the only way is through a concentrated and integrated effort. More than ever, scientific and technological efforts must be cooperative so that scientific advances can benefit everyone,' said EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin.
The vaccine currently used, BCG, only protects children from severe TB. It does nothing to shield adults against contagious TB and can be dangerous for HIV patients, often the people most at risk of catching TB.
To deal with the urgent need for new vaccines, the EU is financing two Integrated Projects under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), TB-VAC and MUVAPRED.
The TB-VAC project will develop an appropriate vaccine for adults that will also be safe to use in locations with a weaker health infrastructure. MUVAPRED will focus on developing a vaccine that can be taken orally or as a nasal spray. This will avoid the risk involved in using needles.
'This is a unique opportunity to allow the world's leading scientists in this field to co-operate and provide leadership in an area that is so important for humankind and particularly the developing world,' said Dr Dr Rino Rappuoli, coordinator of the MUVAPRED project.
For further information on TB-VAC, please visit:
For further information on MUVAPRED, please visit:
For information on World Tuberculosis Day (24 March 2004), please visit
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Data Source Provider: European Commission
Document Reference: Based on information from the European Commission
Subject Index: Coordination, Cooperation; Medicine, Health; Scientific Research