BCG vaccination and leprosy protection: review of current evidence and status of BCG in leprosy control

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2010 Feb;9(2):209-22. doi: 10.1586/erv.09.161.


The bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, initially developed to provide protection against TB, also protects against leprosy; and the magnitude of this effect varies. Previous meta-analyses did not provide a summary estimate of the efficacy due to the heterogeneity of the results. We conducted a meta-analysis of published data including recently published studies (up to June 2009) to determine the efficacy of BCG protection on leprosy and to investigate whether age at vaccination, clinical form, number of doses, type of study, the latitude of study area and year of publication influence the degree of efficacy and explain the variation. In the light of the results, we argue for more emphasis on the role of BCG vaccination in leprosy control and research.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • BCG Vaccine / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Leprosy / epidemiology
  • Leprosy / immunology*
  • Leprosy / prevention & control*
  • Vaccination / methods


  • BCG Vaccine