The Impact of the Tuberculosis Vaccine

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The Impact of the Tuberculosis Vaccine


Tuberculosis is one of the most infectious diseases in the world. With almost one third of the world infected with this virus, people are striving to help prevent the spread of this disease (NIAID, 2001). One prevention technique for tuberculosis is the BCG (Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin) vaccine. In the early twentieth century Calmette and Guerin worked together to isolate a strain of the disease creating the first BCG vaccine. Throughout the century the scientists improved the BCG vaccine and today there are several different strains of the vaccine available. However, even today its full effects on the disease are unknown. The exploration of the effects of the vaccine, the best administration techniques, and who should be vaccinated continues.

Throughout the Twentieth Century, Tuberculosis has impacted people around the world. While some countries see the impacts of tuberculosis less than others, the threat of this infectious disease looms across the horizon. Today, this organism affects one third of the population and is one of the most threatening of infectious diseases (NIAID, 2001). The BCG vaccine (Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin), is administrated in many high risk countries to combat the disease. Although scientists have improved the vaccine throughout the nineteenth century and the vaccine helps to combat some tuberculosis, its prevention is still far from perfect.

The BCG vaccine is formed from a live strain of Mycobacterium bovis (WHO, 2005). The Mycobacterium bovis strain is taken from cows. It is a relative of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, which affects humans; however, Mycobacterium bovis affects cows and humans alike. Isolating a strain of this living organism...

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