Epidemiological benefits of more-effective tuberculosis vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports an ambitious portfolio of novel vaccines, drug regimens, and diagnostic tools for tuberculosis (TB). We elicited the expected efficacies and improvements of the novel interventions in discussions with the foundations managing their development. Using an age-structured mathematical model of TB, we explored the potential benefits of novel interventions under development and those not yet in the portfolio, focusing on the WHO Southeast Asia region. Neonatal vaccination with the portfolio vaccine decreases TB incidence by 39% to 52% by 2050. Drug regimens that shorten treatment duration and are efficacious against drug-resistant strains reduce incidence by 10-27%. New diagnostics reduce incidence by 13-42%. A triple combination of a portfolio vaccine, drug regimen, and diagnostics reduces incidence by 71%. A short mass vaccination catch-up campaign, not yet in the portfolio, to augment the triple combination, accelerates the decrease, preventing >30% more cases by 2050 than just the triple combination. New vaccines and drug regimens targeted at the vast reservoir of latently infected people, not in the portfolio, would reduce incidence by 37% and 82%, respectively. The combination of preventive latent therapy and a 2-month drug treatment regimen reduces incidence by 94%. Novel technologies in the pipeline would achieve substantial reductions in TB incidence, but not the Stop TB Partnership target for elimination. Elimination will require new delivery strategies, such as mass vaccination campaigns, and new products targeted at latently infected people.