Research News

Immunology: Modified Microbe May Boost TB Vaccine

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Science  26 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5248, pp. 447
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5248.447


In its war against bacterial infections, one of medicine's longtime allies has been a member of the enemy: bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG). The mycobacterium has been widely used as a vaccine against the tuberculosis (TB) organism. But BCG's protective effect varies greatly and wanes as people age. Now reinforcements may be on the way. Researchers have engineered a BCG strain to express mammalian cytokines, intercellular messengers that rally the immune system.