A randomised, double-blind, controlled trial of a killed L-major vaccine plus BCG against zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran


Volume 5 - Number

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Safety and efficacy of killed (autoclaved) L. major promastigotes, ALM, mixed with BCG against zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis was tested in healthy volunteers (n = 2453) in a randomized double blind trial vs. BCG as control. Side-effects were similar in both groups but tended to be slightly more frequent and prolonged in the ALM + BCG group. Leishmanin skin test conversion (induration greater than or equal to 5 mm) was significantly greater in the ALM + BCG than in the BCG group (36.2% vs. 7.9% on day-80 and 33% vs. 19%, after 1 year, respectively). Cumulative incidence rates for 2 years, were similar in both groups (18.0% vs. 18.5%). However, LST responders on day 80 (greater than or equal to 5 mm) had a significantly lower incidence (35%) of CL during the first year than non-responders. A single dose of ALM + BCG is not sufficiently immunogenic to provide a measurable response when compared to BCG alone. A single dose of this vaccine has been shown to be safe with no evidence of an exacerbating response following natural infection; hence, multiple doses or other adjuvants should be considered to increase its immunogenicity. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.