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  • Heaf test


    The Heaf test, a diagnostic skin test, was long performed to determine whether or not children had been exposed to tuberculosis infection. The test was named after F. R. G. Heaf. Also known as the Sterneedle test, it was administered by a Heaf gun (trademarked "Sterneedle"), a spring-loaded instrument with six needles arranged in a circular formation. The Heaf test was discontinued in 2005 because the manufacturer deemed its production to be financially unsustainable after manufacturers could not be found for tuberculin or Heaf guns. Until 2005, the test was used in the United Kingdom to determine if the BCG vaccine was needed; the Mantoux test is now used instead. The Heaf test was preferred in the UK, because it was thought to be easier to interpret, with less variability between observers, and less training was required to administer and read the test. Patients who exhibited a negative reaction to the test were considered for BCG vaccination. The Heaf test was used to test for tuberculosis in adolescents aged around 13–14.

  • RBCG30


    rBCG30 (recombinant Bacillus Calmette-Guérin 30) is a prospective vaccine against tuberculosis created by a team headed by Marcus A. Horwitz at UCLA. It is a live vaccine, consisting of BCG genetically modified to produce abundant amounts of a 30kDa antigen (Antigen 85B) that has been shown to produce a strong immune response in animals and humans. The vaccine completed a Phase I double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial that demonstrated that rBCG30 was safe and immunogenic; during nine months of follow-up, rBCG30, but not BCG, induced significantly increased Antigen 85B-specific immune responses in eight immunological assays (blood lymphocyte proliferation, antibody responses by ELISA, interferon-gamma producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells ex vivo, central memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, interferon-gamma ELISPOT responses, and the capacity of T cells to activate macrophages to inhibit mycobacterial intracellular multiplication).

  • BCG vaccine


    Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine is a vaccine primarily used against tuberculosis (TB). In countries where tuberculosis or leprosy is common, one dose is recommended in healthy babies as close to the time of birth as possible. In areas where tuberculosis is not common, only children at high risk are typically immunized, while suspected cases of tuberculosis are individually tested for and treated. Adults who do not have tuberculosis and have not been previously immunized but are frequently exposed may be immunized as well. BCG also has some effectiveness against Buruli ulcer infection and other nontuberculous mycobacteria infections. Additionally it is sometimes used as part of the treatment of bladder cancer. Rates of protection against tuberculosis infection vary widely and protection lasts up to twenty years. Among children it prevents about 20% from getting infected and among those who do get infected it protects half from developing disease. The vaccine is given by injection into the skin. Additional doses are not supported by evidence. Serious side effects are rare. Often there is redness, swelling, and mild pain at the site of injection. A small ulcer may also form with some scarring after healing. Side effects are more common and potentially more severe in those with poor immune function. It is not safe for use during pregnancy. The vaccine was originally developed from Mycobacterium bovis which is commonly found in cows. While it has been weakened, it is still live. The BCG vaccine was first used medically in 1921. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Between 2011 and 2014 the wholesale price was $0.16 to $1.11 USD a dose in the developing world. In the United States it costs $100 to $200 USD. As of 2004 the vaccine is given to about 100 million children per year globally.

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