Objective: To assess the effectiveness of the Bacille Calmette-Guerin BCG vaccine in the treatment of viral warts.
Methods: A single blind placebo controlled study conducted at the Department of Dermatology, Baghdad Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq from March 2005 to June 2006. Two hundred patients with viral warts were enrolled in this study, and were fully assessed before therapy. The patients were divided into 2 equal matched groups. Group 1 was designed as the treatment group and received BCG vaccine in 1-3 doses with a one-month interval, while group 2 was injected with distilled water. The patients were evaluated every 2 weeks for evidence of regression of lesions. The follow up period lasted for 3 months after the last dose.
Results: A total of 154 patients completed the study: 81 patients in group I and 73 patients in group II. Thirty 39.7% patients out of 81 patients in group I showed complete recovery. These results were significantly high p<0.05 when compared with total response, 10 13.7% out of 73 patients in group II. No recurrence has been reported during the follow up period. When cases that failed to respond to placebo were treated with BCG in a similar manner to group I, there was total response in 15 42.7% out of 44 patients. No side effects were observed.
Conclusion: The BCG vaccine was an effective and safe modality of treatment of viral warts.