BCG vaccination and rifampicin chemoprophylaxis are both strategies for leprosy prevention. While the combined effect is unknown, the combination may give the desired push to halt leprosy transmission. Secondary analysis was done on results from a single centre, double blind, cluster randomized, and placebo-controlled trial. Individually, BCG (given at infancy) and rifampicin showed to protect against leprosy (57% [95% CI: 24-75%] and 58% [95% CI: 30-74%], respectively). The combined strategies showed a protective effect of 80% (95% CI: 50-92%). This is the first time that the additive effect of BCG and rifampicin are shown; the combined strategies can possibly lower leprosy incidence.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Schuring, R.P, Richardus, J.H, Pahan, D, & Oskam, L. (2009). Protective effect of the combination BCG vaccination and rifampicin prophylaxis in leprosy prevention. Vaccine, 27(50), 7125–7128. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.09.054