In this week's PLoS Medicine, and to coincide with World TB Day, Madhukar Pai from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and colleagues introduce the BCG World Atlas, an open access, user friendly website for TB clinicians to discern global BCG vaccination policies and practices and improve the care of their patients.
The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine continues to be controversial, with known variations in BCG substrains and vaccine efficacy. Vaccine policies and practices vary considerably across time and countries, which created the need for the first searchable, online, open access database of global BCG vaccination policy and practices, the BCG World Atlas (http://www.bcgatlas.org/). It contains detailed information on current and past BCG policies and practices for over 180 countries. The authors say "the Atlas is designed to be a useful resource for clinicians, policymakers, and researchers and provides alike, providing information that may be helpful for better interpretation of tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics as well as design of new TB vaccines."
Funding: This work was supported in part by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and a team award from the National Sanitarium Association (NSA), Canada. AZ is supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral research award. MP is a recipient of a CIHR New Investigator Award and DM & MB are recipients of Fonds de la recherche en sante du Quebec (FRSQ) career awards. These funding sources had no role in the design, execution or publication of this study.
Competing Interests: No financial conflicts. Madhukar Pai serves as an external consultant for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). BMGF had no involvement in this manuscript. Madhukar Pai is a member of the PLoS Medicine Editorial Board.
Citation: Zwerling A, Behr MA, Verma A, Brewer TF, Menzies D, et al. (2011) The BCG World Atlas: A Database of Global BCG Vaccination Policies and Practices. PLoS Med 8(3): e1001012. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001012
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