A new vaccine, which can replace the age-old existing vaccine, to prevent tuberculosis (TB) is at least 10 years away, experts have said.

Despite enhanced efforts to contain TB, the infectious disease is still posing a major health threat in most of developing nations of the world. The available BCG vaccine, which was developed in 1921, has been proved to have only limited effectiveness in children suffering from HIV infection.

Research is underway across the world to develop a new vaccine that could provide protection against the bacterial disease across all patient populations.

International organizations like Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation and other agencies including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are currently working on potential vaccine candidates that could serve the purpose.

“In our research pipeline at Aeras we have six vaccine candidate products,” Peg Willingham, Senior Director, External Affairs, Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, was quoted as saying.

One of these candidates is currently in late-stage clinical studies in adults living with HIV in Tanzania. The study has shown that the vaccine is promising to control TB among the HIV infected patients as well. Aeras is providing its manufacturing expertise to encourage mass production of the drug.

Another potential vaccine candidate in Aerea's pipeline has been found to have the potential to replace the existing BCG vaccine with a better, modern and more effective one. Aeras plans to start human trials of the vaccine later this year.

To develop a booster vaccine, Aeras has marked out two candidates from its pipeline. It will test these two across three different stages before the end of this year. The objective of the three-stage test is to study if the vaccine will work in people of all ages, in those living with HIV, and among those who have latent tuberculosis.

There are over half-a-dozen vaccine candidate products in different stages of clinical trials across the world. Most of these vaccine candidates appear to be safe in humans. Maybe, a new TB vaccine that offers prevention across all populations could be ready by 2020, these experts say.