Protective immunization of monkeys with BCG or BCG plus heat-killed Mycobacterium leprae: Clinical results

Bobby J. Gormus, Gary B. Baskin, Keyu Xu, Rudolf P. Bohm, Pamela A. Mack, Marion S. Ratterree, Sang Nae Cho, Wayne M. Meyers, Gerald P. Walsh

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8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rhesus and sooty mangabey monkeys (RM and SMM) were vaccinated and boosted with BCG or BCG + low dose (LD) or high dose (HD) heat-killed Mycobacterium leprae (HKML). One group was not vaccinated. Except for a group of controls, all monkeys were challenged with live M. leprae. All animals were studied longitudinally to determine antileprosy protective efficacy. BCG reduced the numbers of RM with histopathologically-diagnosed leprosy by 70% and slowed and ameliorated the appearance of symptoms. BCG + LDHKML reduced the number of RM with leprosy by 89% and BCG + HDHKML by 78%. BCG did not protect SMM from developing leprosy, but disease progress was slowed; disease in SMM was exacerbated by the addition of HKML to the vaccine. RM, as a species, are prone to paucibacillary (PB) forms of leprosy, whereas SMM are prone to multibacillary (MB) forms. Thus, BCG vaccination offers significant protection from clinical disease and slows/ameliorates the rate of progression/degree of disease at the PB end and appears to at least ameliorate symptoms at the MB end of the leprosy spectrum. BCG + HKML protects at the PB end and exacerbates disease progress at the MB end of the leprosy spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-23
Number of pages18
JournalLeprosy Review
Volume69
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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