An effective immunization against tuberculosis had been out of reach until the French team of Camille Guérin and Albert Calmette. Guérin, who was born on this date in 1872, began his career in veterinary medicine and switched to vaccination research in 1897, when he joined Calmette at the Pasteur Institute. In 1921, the two produced a strain of tuberculosis that was named Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, or BCG. By 1928, BCG had been given to 116,000 infants in France, and the vaccine was used in many other countries as well. However, conflicting reports on the vaccine’s effectiveness prevented BCG from being used in the United States until 1950.
Copyright InteliHealth, Inc., 2011. All rights reserved.