Volume 74, Issue 10 (January 2017)                   Tehran Univ Med J 2017, 74(10): 675-681 | Back to browse issues page

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Teimourpour R, Meshkat Z, Arzanlou M, Peeridogaheh H, Gholoobi A. BCG: the only available vaccine against tuberculosis: review article. Tehran Univ Med J 2017; 74 (10) :675-681
URL: http://tumj.tums.ac.ir/article-1-7830-en.html
1- Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran.
2- Antimicrobial Resistance Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
3- Department of Modern Sciences and Technologies, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Abstract:   (6092 Views)

Background: Despite advances in the vaccinology and chemotherapy in the past century, tuberculosis is still responsible for two million deaths every year. Emergence of multi-drug resistant strain and coinfection of TB-HIV make it a serious concern. Treatment and control of tuberculosis is a great health burden in every community. Active tuberculosis in children has very severe consequences especially those who are under 5-years-old, therefore vaccine indication should be taken. Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a live attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis that has been used for providing immunity or protection against tuberculosis (TB). In addition, BCG provides relative protection against leprosy and Buruli ulcer, it also can be used for treatment of bladder cancer. BCG is the most widely administered vaccine around the world. It has been given to over three billion individuals over the past decades. At first it was developed in 1908 at the Pasteur Institute in Lille by Albert Calmette and Camille Guérin. In fact BCG is a strain of Mycobacterium bovis that bear deletion in its genome following too long subculture in special media. Deletion in region of deletion 1 (RD1), a specific region of Mycobacterium bovis genome, has decreased pathogenicity of BCG strain. Following culture of BCG on different media since 1921 make genetic variation in the BCG strains that have specific characteristics. BCG should begin given to only immune-competent individuals and should not be administered to immunocompromised people. This vaccine is not effective in people formerly infected or sensitized with environmental mycobacteria. Previous meta-analysis studies indicate that BCG has variable range of protection from 0 to 80 percent against pulmonary TB, but is very effective against severe disseminated forms such as meningitis and miliary form of TB. Despite many research and develop new generation vaccine against TB, BCG vaccine still remains as the only effective vaccine because many efforts to replace it with better ones were unsuccessful.

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