BCG : Do we have an alternative? - Review Article.
ICMR Bulletin; 1995; 25; 33-40.
Vaccination is generally used as a form of immunoprophylaxis, so that administration of the vaccine even a long time before exposure to the wild type infectious organisms should afford protection. Since effector T and B-cells are short lived, a prime requisite for a vaccine is to generate immunological memory. In the case of organisms such as mycobacteria which are obligate intracellular pathogens and which elicit granulomatous tissue reactions, artificial immunization with live bacteria is required to induce protection. The only existing vaccine against tuberculosis is the BCG ( Bacille Calmette - Guerin ), an attenuated strain of M. bovis and it is mandatory or officially recommended in 182 countries or territories. Under the Expanded Programme on Immunization EPI) started by the Government of India in 1978, BCG is recommended to be given to all infants 3-9 months after birth.
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