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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MARTINEZ SANCHEZ, Raydel et al. Evaluation of the effectiveness of a new vaccine against human leptospirosis among groups at risk. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2000, vol.8, n.6, pp.385-392. ISSN 1680-5348.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of a new vaccine against human leptospirosis, a prospective cohort study was done with persons in the Cuban province of Holguín who were at risk of becoming ill with leptospirosis. The study included 118 018 persons from 15 to 65 years old who were considered to face either permanent or temporary risk. The vaccinated cohort consisted of 101 137 persons. They received two vaccine doses, 6 weeks apart, of 0.50 mL via deep intramuscular injection into the deltoid muscle of the nondominant arm. The unvaccinated cohort consisted of 16 881 persons. Epidemiological surveillance began 21 days after the application of the second vaccine dose and continued for 1 year. The same criteria for suspected and confirmed cases were maintained throughout the study period. At the end of the surveillance period effectiveness was calculated as being higher than 97%. It is estimated that the vaccination program prevented eight out of ten cases that would have otherwise occurred. Vaccine reactogenicity was also measured in a subsample of 1 500 persons between 15 and 65 years old. The observed symptomatology was low. Slight pain at the injection site was the most frequent symptom (25%). The results of the study indicate the usefulness of the vaccine for disease prevention among people at risk, and its use is thus recommended.

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