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International Symposium: A new horizon for preventive vaccines against tuberculosis

Life and Earth Sciences | Madrid, May 7-8, 2014


The global tuberculosis (TB) epidemic annually causes 1.3 million deaths. In 2012, almost 8.6 million people fell ill with active TB, with a third of those cases remaining both undiagnosed and untreated, confounding efforts to stop the spread of this deadly airborne disease. In addition, multi- and extensively drug-resistant TB threatens to halt overall progress.

Globally, the WHO reports that MDR-TB cases are on the rise in most of the high disease burden countries. The highest proportions of TB patients who have MDR-TB are in Eastern Europe and Africa, where up to 32% of new TB cases and more than 50% of previously treated cases are MDR-TB (WHO, 2012). It is estimated that only 10% of cases of MDR-TB are currently identified worldwide and only half of them receive appropriate treatment. Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), which is resistant to first- and second-line drugs, has been identified in 84 countries (WHO, 2012).

Drain on the worldwide economy

TB undermines the capacity of countries to escape poverty and is an enormous drain on the worldwide economy. TB is estimated to cost the global economy 0.52% of GNI per year in lost productivity and wages; €290 billion per year. According to very conservative calculations the direct costs of TB in the EU add up to about €537 million per year.

Vaccines that could prevent people from acquiring, developing and transmitting disease (including drug resistant forms of TB) would be the single most effective tool in mitigating this epidemic.

Ultimate austerity measure is prevention

New vaccines sit at the centre of future TB elimination efforts. Like every other major infectious disease in the history of mankind, prevention through vaccination has been the most cost-effective tool in eradicating and controlling these diseases. New TB vaccines would be our single greatest preventative tool in the fight against TB for decades to come.

Worldwide efforts are needed

Worldwide, many universities, research institutes and companies work on the development of new vaccines to combat TB. In the past 10-15 years, particularly European researchers have made tremendous progress in the development of these urgently needed vaccines. Dozens of vaccine candidates are in several stages of development, from basic research to clinical trials.


This International Symposium will join scientists and researchers, world leaders in the field of new vaccines against TB, to present to the scientific community their efforts and the results of the latest research in vaccines against TB.

Multimedia library

Stefan Kaufmann

Time to think about the next generation of tuberculosis vaccines

  • PowerPoint presentation

Douglas Young

Pathogen: Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Evolution of Functional Diversity

  • PowerPoint presentation

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