A protein which could be targeted for a tuberculosis vaccine has been discovered by scientists at Imperial College London.
TB is caused by bacteria and the only vaccine against it, the BCG jab, is not very effective.
The disease of the lungs kills approximately two million people worldwide each year.
The charity, TB Alert, said the research was promising, but a vaccine was a long way off.
A better option
Scientists are aware that the BCG vaccine is not good enough.
Professor Ajit Lalvani, who led the research at Imperial College London, said: “Despite most of the world’s population having had a BCG vaccination, there are still nine million new cases of TB every year, so we urgently need to develop a more effective vaccine for TB.”
Researchers are trying to find new proteins which can be used in a vaccine to trigger an immune response and provide long-term protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.