Publications

In 1993, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared tuberculosis (TB) a global emergency. Approx. 1.7 billion people are infected and 10.4 million people are estimated to fell ill with TB in 2016. In the same year approx. 1.4 million died because of TB; among them 253,000 children (aged 0-14 years). South Africa and other Sub-Saharan countries belong to the group of “high-burden” TB countries with an estimated 97,000 deaths each year in South Africa alone. In children BCG can protect against, or at least ameliorate, severe forms of systemic TB, particularly TB meningitis. To interrupt transmission of disease, highly contagious pulmonary forms of TB need to also be targeted by vaccination. BCG unfortunately fails to achieve this. In addition, the current BCG shortage crisis endangers global child health and further highlights the need for a novel TB vaccine.