With almost a dozen vaccine candidates in clinical trials, tuberculosis (TB) research and development is finally reaping the first fruits of its labors. Vaccine candidates in clinical trials may prevent TB disease reactivation by efficiently containing the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Future research should target vaccines that achieve sterile eradication of Mtb or even prevent stable infection. These are ambitious goals that can be reached only by highly cooperative engagement of basic immunologists, vaccinologists, and clinical researchers--or in other words, by translation from basic immunology to vaccine research and development, as well as reverse translation of insights from clinical trials back to hypothesis-driven research in the basic laboratory. Here, we review current and future strategies toward the rational design of novel vaccines against TB, as well as the progress made thus far, and the hurdles that need to be overcome in the near and distant future.
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