Author(s): Stanford JL, Stanford CA
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Abstract The history of immunotherapy for tuberculosis is briefly reviewed, and the early appreciation of the importance of secreted antigens, common mycobacterial antigens and stress proteins is noted. The methods by which Mycobacterium vaccae strain NCTC 11659 was selected for special attention, and results of some of the pilot studies of its use as an immunotherapeutic for tuberculosis are reviewed. The results suggested that immunotherapy with M. vaccae may be an important step forward in the treatment and eventual control of tuberculosis. Used in combination with modern short course chemotherapy, treatment failures and deaths during treatment can be significantly reduced. Preliminary data suggests that shortened courses of chemotherapy may be possible when combined with immunotherapy, and such treatment may also be effective in patients co-infected with HIV. Studies at several centers show that M. vaccae may have an important part to play in the treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, especially when resistance is of the primary type. The mechanism by which M. vaccae achieves these results may be through adrenal endocrine influences on immunity, but remains speculative.
This article was published in Immunobiology
and referenced in Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques