Lessons learnt from the first efficacy trial of a new infant tuberculosis vaccine since BCG

Abstract

Background: New tuberculosis (TB) vaccines are being developed to combat the global epidemic. A phase IIb trial of a candidate vaccine, MVA85A, was conducted in a high burden setting in South Africa to evaluate proof-of-concept efficacy for prevention of TB in infants.

Objective To describe the study design and implementation lessons from an infant TB vaccine efficacy trial.

Methods: This was a randomised, controlled, double-blind clinical trial comparing the safety and efficacy of MVA85A to Candin control administered to 4–6-month-old, BCG-vaccinated, HIV-negative infants at a rural site in South Africa. Infants were followed up for 15–39 months for incident TB disease based on pre-specified endpoints.

Results: 2797 infants were enrolled over 22 months. Factors adversely affecting recruitment and the solutions that were implemented are discussed. Slow case accrual led to six months extension of trial follow up.

Conclusion: The clinical, regulatory and research environment for modern efficacy trials of new TB vaccines are substantially different to that when BCG vaccine was first evaluated in infants. Future infant TB vaccine trials will need to allocate sufficient resources and optimise operational efficiency. A stringent TB case definition is necessary to maximize specificity, and TB case accrual must be monitored closely.

Citation

Tameris, M.; McShane, H.; McClain, J.B.; Landry, B.; Lockhart, S.; Luabeya, A.K.K.; Geldenhuys, H.; Shea, J.; Hussey, G.; van der Merwe, L.; de Kock, M.; Scriba, T.; Walker, R.; Hanekom, W.; Hatherill, M.; Mahomed, H. Lessons learnt from the first efficacy trial of a new infant tuberculosis vaccine since BCG. Tuberculosis (2013) : [DOI: 10.1016/j.tube.2013.01.003]

Lessons learnt from the first efficacy trial of a new infant tuberculosis vaccine since BCG

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