Role of bacille Calmette-Guérin in preventing tuberculous infection.


Adinarayanan, S.; Culp, R.K.; Subramani, R.; Abbas, K.M.; Radhakrishna, S, Swaminathan, S.


International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease; 2017; 21; 420-424.   


Summary: Setting: Rural community in South India.


Objective: To determine the role of bacille Calmette-Gu´erin (BCG) in preventing tuberculous infection in children.


Design: A prevalence survey was undertaken in 19992001 in a representative rural population in Tiruvallur District in South India using cluster sampling. Tuberculin testing was performed among all children aged, <15 years, and all adults aged > 15 years were questioned about chest symptoms and underwent radiography, followed by sputum examinations, if indicated.


Results: In children living in households with a tuberculosis case, the proportion with evidence of tuberculous infection was 35.5% of 200 in the absence of a BCG scar and 27.0% of 100 in its presence, a reduction of 24% ( P =0.14). In very young children (age <5 years), the corresponding proportions were 29.1% of 55 and 11.9% of 42, a reduction of 59%; the difference was statistically significant ( P = 0.048).


Conclusion: There is a possible role for BCG in preventing tuberculous infection in very young children.


Keywords: Survey; tuberculous infection; BCG; epidemiology; community

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