The bacillus Calmette-Guerin (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. 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd.

Expert Review of Vaccines, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 209-222