The clinical trial was the first to evaluate the ability of a new TB vaccine to prevent the disease since BCG, the 90 year-old vaccine that is familiar to many and is used extensively throughout the world.
The study involved almost 2,800 babies in South Africa and the findings are published in the medical journal The Lancet.
Professor Helen McShane, who first developed the MVA85A vaccine 15 years ago at Oxford University's Jenner Institute and is senior author on the Lancet paper, says despite the disappointing results, getting to this point marks a step forward for the field and there is much to be learned from the results.
'The primary endpoint of the trial was safety, and we met this endpoint and found the vaccine to be safe,' she says. 'However, unfortunately, we saw no statistically significant evidence of increased protection against TB above and beyond BCG alone.
'The results from this study should let us know far more about the type and level of immune response required, and that will boost future efforts to develop an effective TB vaccine by Oxford and other researchers throughout the world.'
Image: An infant receives the MVA85A single dose booster vaccine as part of the clinical trial in Worcester, South Africa - Copyright Oxford University