Advancing Immunotherapeutic Vaccine Strategies Against Pulmonary Tuberculosis
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Chemotherapeutic intervention remains the primary strategy in treating and controlling tuberculosis (TB). However, a complex interplay between therapeutic and patient-related factors leads to poor treatment adherence. This in turn continues to give rise to unacceptably high rates of disease relapse and the growing emergence of drug-resistant forms of TB. As such, there is considerable interest in strategies that simultaneously improve treatment outcome and shorten chemotherapy duration. Therapeutic vaccines represent one such approach which aims to accomplish this through boosting and/or priming novel anti-TB immune responses to accelerate disease resolution, shorten treatment duration, and enhance treatment success rates. Numerous therapeutic vaccine candidates are currently undergoing pre-clinical and clinical assessment, showing varying degrees of efficacy. By dissecting the underlying mechanisms/correlates of their successes and/or shortcomings, strategies can be identified to improve existing and future vaccine candidates. This mini-review will discuss the current understanding of therapeutic TB vaccine candidates, and discuss major strategies that can be implemented in advancing their development.
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