08 June 2009

SA leads TB vaccine hunt

South Africa is leading the hunt for killer TB vaccine, with trials of the most clinically advanced of the nine vaccine candidates to begin soon on 2 874 children under one.

Baby Hisinawa is permanently semi-comatose after TB spread to his brain, his board-stiff body shivering as a doctor pushes a rubber tube down his nose to clear away thick phlegm choking him.

Scientists across the world are seeking a new vaccine against the contagious lung disease, which is largely under control in developed countries but still haunts the poor in the developing world. Up to one in three people have it globally.

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