Hansen's Disease (Leprosy)

Current and Future Pharmacotherapy and Treatment of Disease-related Immunologic Reactions

Davey P. Legendre, Pharm.D.; Christina A. Muzny, M.D.; Edwin Swiatlo, M.D., Ph.D.


Pharmacotherapy. 2012;32(1):27-37. 

In This Article


Vaccines are effective at preventing infectious diseases and epidemics. There is no vaccine for M. leprae, but bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), often used as a tuberculosis vaccine, also offers some protection against M. leprae, with a single dose providing 50% protection. Some have advocated adding killed M. leprae to the BCG vaccine for increased immunologic response, but trials of this strategy conducted in Malawi have not proved effective.[62] Using BCG for prevention of Hansen's disease alone is not recommended at this time, and BCG is generally not recommended for any indication in the United States.


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