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Polygence Scholar2023
Hasika Oggi's profile

Hasika Oggi

Class of 2024San Jose, California



  • "An investigation of vaccine candidates for the treatment of leprosy and their efficacy and accessibility" with mentor Eliotte (Aug. 14, 2023)

Project Portfolio

An investigation of vaccine candidates for the treatment of leprosy and their efficacy and accessibility

Started May 25, 2023

Abstract or project description

Leprosy is a disease caused by the immune system’s response to the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae. Infection with M. leprae can severely damage peripheral nerves, leading to the loss of smell, sight, limbs, and even paralysis. The majority of individuals impacted by this disease live in poor socioeconomic conditions. While over 120 countries report around 200,000 cases of leprosy per year, 52% of these cases were found in India alone in 2022. While treatments such as multi-drug therapy (MDT) are available to treat leprosy, there is still a chance of relapse. In addition, MDT requires long-term treatments that are not readily accessible to patients with few means. On the other hand, if vaccines were an option for leprosy, they might have a farther reach and prevent infections in high-incidence regions Thus, this paper focuses on evaluating the efficacy and accessibility of the three vaccines currently being developed or that are approved by the FDA to treat leprosy: BCG, MIP, and LepVax. This review will also investigate current limitations that need to be overcome, such as lack of clinical trials and adverse side effects after administration of a vaccine. While vaccines on the market do provide some relief for those with leprosy, further work needs to be done to develop a vaccine that is both effective and accessible to those populations affected.