Mycobacterium tuberculosis Current Affairs - 2020

COVID-19: ICMR Clinical Trials on BCG Vaccine

The Indian Council of Medical Research is conducting clinical trials to check on the efficacy of Tuberculosis vaccines against COVID-19.


The ICMR is to focus on vaccine potential of India in reducing death of COVID-19 infected patients. The trials that will find out the efficacy of BCG Vaccine in COVID-19 patients is to be conducted in conjunction with National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis.

BCG Vaccine

The BCG vaccine is Bacillus Calmette-Guerin. It is a vaccine that uses live attenuated stain of Mycobacterium Bovis. Meaning, the potency of the pathogen is disabled artificially and the characters are retained.

National BCG Vaccination Policy

India is currently following National BCG Vaccination Policy. According to the National Family Health Survey, around 91.9% of children in the age group of 12 to 23 months are receiving the vaccine. The survey also says that India has the capacity of producing 2,800 lakh BCG Vaccine doses in a year.


The researchers of Biomedical sciences of New York Institute of Technology have reported that the countries administered BCG Vaccine Programme has less incidents of COVID-19 as compared to countries that did not administer the programme.

Anti-Leprosy Drug Trials started by CSIR against COVID-19

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has started the trials of anti-leprosy drug trials against COVID-19. The drug trial is to be conducted with the help of Mycobacterium MW.


The Mycobacterium MW is a heat killed bacteria. It is to be tried on different COVID-19 patients. The drug trial was approved by the Drug Controller General of India. One particular strain of bacteria called the Mycobacterium MW is to be tried on several COVID-19 patients. The drug has already proved its effectivity against leprosy.

The CSIR is also trying phytopharmaceuticals


The Phytopharmaceuticals are herbal medicines. They contain one or more plant products as Active Ingredients. Phytopharmaceuticals are preferred to synthetic drugs as their benefit-risk ratios are higher.

What is Mycobacterium MW?

Mycobacterium MW is a strain of mycobacterium. It is a non-pathogenic, non-specific immune potentiating, rapidly growing atypical mycobacterium. This strain of bacteria shares a common T and B cell determinants with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae.

The heat killed bacteria induces T-cell responses. This induces the responses of the cells against tumor cells as well.

About the Trial

Along with CSIR Gujarat based pharma-giant Cadila Pharmaceuticals will also join the Mycobacterium trial. The hospitals that are to participate in the trial includes AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Chandigarh and AIIMS Bhopal.