A Leprosy Vaccine?
A promising development in the treatment and management of leprosy is the preliminary success shown by two different vaccines. One vaccine being tested in Venezuela combines a vaccine originally developed against tuberculosis, called Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), and heat-killed M. leprae cultured from infected armadillos. The other vaccine uses a relative of M. leprae called M. avium. The advantage of this vaccine, currently being tested in India, is that M. avium is easy to culture on media and is thus cheaper than the Venezuelan vaccine. Both vaccines have performed well in their clinical trials, leading many to hope that a vaccine against leprosy might be available as early as 1995.
See also Antibody and antigen.
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