India’s TB fight could be shot in the arm | India News


PUNE: In an attempt to end the transmission of TB, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is at an advanced stage of developing a TB vaccine.
“Currently, the ICMR Indian Tuberculosis Research Consortium is conducting a multicenter trial to study the efficacy and safety of two candidate tuberculosis vaccines,” said Dr. Suchit Kamble, Principal Investigator at the ICMR’s National AIDS Research Institute (NARI).
Phase 3 trials expected to be completed by 2024, after which patient data will be compiled and results analyzed, Kamble said.
Currently, the Phase 3 placebo-controlled trials are being conducted at 18 sites across six states – Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad, Delhi, Telangana and Odisha. The trial includes subjects over the age of six.
Childhood tuberculosis remains a major problem contributing to around 31% of the global burden.
ICMR’s National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) is also involved in the study and is conducting trials at two of its clinics. Tuberculosis is very common in people with HIV who have low immunity.
Researchers are hoping for positive results from the study which has the potential to help the country halt the spread of TB in the future.
India saw a sharp 19% increase in TB cases in 2021 over the previous year, even as a large majority of 64% of the symptomatic population surveyed did not seek health services between 2019 and 2021, according to the recently released India Tuberculosis Report 2022 and National Tuberculosis Prevalence. The survey shows.
A total of 19.33 lakh new and relapse TB cases were reported in 2021 compared to 16.28 lakh in the previous year. Tuberculosis deaths also increased to 4.93 lakh, excluding HIV patients, in 2020, up 13% from a year ago, while the death rate from to all forms of tuberculosis between 2019 and 2020 increased by 11%.
Delhi, with 534 cases per 1 lakh population, has the highest prevalence of TB, followed by 484 in Rajasthan, 481 in Uttar Pradesh and 465 in Haryana and 454 in Chhattisgarh. Kerala has the lowest prevalence with 115 per 1 lakh population.

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