Leprosy Vaccine

leprosy vaccine

The vaccine will stop leprosy before it even starts, saving children like Prenka from a lifetime of suffering with this dreaded disease.

American Leprosy Missions is committed to bringing an END to leprosy by developing a leprosy vaccine that will stop this terrible disease before it even starts.

Since 2002, we have been partnering with the non-profit Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) in Seattle, Washington to develop a leprosy vaccine and a new leprosy diagnostic test.

During the past twelve years, we have invested $4 million into vaccine research and development.

Why is a leprosy vaccine needed?

  • Leprosy remains one of the most dreaded diseases in the world, a disease that isolates and shames its victims.
  • More than 3 million people in the world suffer from leprosy-related disabilities.
  • Immunizations are the most cost-effective way to eliminate disease.

What is the current status of the leprosy vaccine?

Thanks to the generous support of people like you, a leprosy vaccine has been developed. And now, the next, two-year phase of this huge project begins.

First, the vaccine needs to be manufactured in a large enough quantity for further testing to ensure there are no side effects. The next step will be toxicology studies, which will take place in late 2014. Then the vaccine will be ready for phase I clinical trials in healthy human volunteers, followed by Food and Drug Administration approval. The total cost of this current phase is $1.2 million.

Then the vaccine will be ready for the final rounds of testing. And soon, just think — children and adults who are vulnerable to leprosy will be spared the suffering and isolation that this disease inflicts. Donate now to help us END leprosy.

What could be the impact of a new diagnostic test?

  • Leprosy diagnosis currently requires a well-trained clinician who can recognize the symptoms.
  • This can be impossible in poor, remote areas.
  • A new, easy-to-administer diagnostic test can detect the bacteria before symptoms appear, enabling treatment to be administered before the disease has irreparably damaged nerves.

In 2013, IDRI announced that a new, rapid diagnostic test for leprosy was registered for use in Brazil.

Leprosy vaccine in the news

Trial Set for World’s First Leprosy Vaccine, published in the Guardian on June 6, 2014

New York Times front page article about the new leprosy diagnostic test

Can Leprosy Be Eradicated? published in Slate on February 20, 2013 about the leprosy vaccine and rapid diagnostic test

Join us – Together we can End Leprosy NOW

By God’s grace and with your partnership, a vaccine will be able to spare children like Prenka the devastation and heartbreak of leprosy. Read Prenka’s story and donate now to stop the suffering for children like her.