Short report: evaluation of the potency and stability of a candidate vaccine against American cutaneous leishmaniasis.

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  • 1 Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas/Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Availability of a safe, immunogenic, and affordable vaccine would represent the best strategy for control of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Stability in field conditions is a essential property for any candidate vaccine. The stability and immunogenicity of three different preparations (thimerosal-preserved, autoclaved, and lyophilized) of a killed Leishmania amazonensis vaccine were assessed using fresh products and after 12 months of storage at 4 degrees C. Autoclaving was associated with a time-dependent decrease in the immunogenicity of the vaccine, as measured by the leishmanin skin test and production of interferon-gamma. These findings are of importance in the decision of which preparation of candidate killed CL vaccines should move to phase III trials.