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Vaccine. 1999 Jan;17(2):105-9.

Comparison of the safety and immunogenicity of the lyophilized Mérieux seed and the World Health Organization working reference BCG vaccines in school-aged children in Senegal.

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Centre International de l'Enfance et de la Famille, Paris, France.


In order to validate two new lots of Mérieux BCG vaccine (Mérieux seed derived from strain 1072), a calibration study was performed to compare their safety and immunogenicity to a full dose of the WHO-reference BCG vaccine (Tokyo strain 172) as well as the WHO-reference vaccine given at 1/10 of its normal concentration, in an open, randomized, four-arm, multicenter study in Senegal. A total of 1041 healthy Senegalese children aged 8-10 years were screened for participation in this study, of whom 548 had a negative Mantoux test and complied with inclusion and exclusion criteria. These children were randomly allocated a single dose of one of the following vaccines: full-dose Mérieux BCG vaccine (lot E0650); full-dose Mérieux BCG vaccine (lot E0624); full-dose WHO-reference vaccine (Tokyo strain 172); or 1/10 dose WHO-reference vaccine. A follow-up examination, including a tuberculin test, was performed 10-12 weeks after BCG vaccination for 465 (85%) children: 236 Mérieux BCG vaccine (117 lot E0650; 119 lot E0624); 115 full-dose WHO; 114 1/10 dose WHO. The percentage of subjects with a positive tuberculin test after vaccination was significantly lower (P < 0.001) in the 1/10 dose group (81.5%) compared to the other three groups (> 96%). The mean induration diameter was significantly smaller in subjects who received the low-dose of WHO vaccine compared to the others, according to analyses considering all subjects vaccinated, as well as only those subjects with a positive tuberculin test after vaccination. More children in the low-dose group did not have a vaccination scar, and the mean diameter of scars was smaller in this group. The rate of tuberculin reactions, the classification of reactions (Palmer and Edwards), and the characteristics of the vaccinal lesion were similar for the Mérieux BCG vaccines and the full-dose WHO-reference vaccine. All vaccines were safe, as evidenced by the absence of adenitis or suppurative adenitis during the course of the study. Results from this trial show that the two lots of Mérieux BCG vaccine behave equally as well as the full-dose WHO-reference BCG vaccine. The WHO-reference vaccine, given at 1/10 of its normal concentration was significantly less immunogenic, according to all parameters evaluated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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