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J Trop Pediatr. 2008 Dec;54(6):413-6. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmn053. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

Disseminated Bacillus Calmette-Guerin infection after BCG vaccination.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


The BCG is administered to all the newborns at birth in Iran. Systemic adverse reactions to BCG vaccine such as osteomyelitis and disseminated BCG infection are rare. This is a retrospective study of 15 cases <72 months who were admitted with systemic syndrome compatible with disseminated mycobacterial disease during 2004-07. Disseminated BCG disease occurred in eight children younger than 6-months old and 12 patient younger than 12-months old. Twelve patients were male. Nine of 15 patients had well known primary immune deficiency disorders including severe combined immunodeficiency, chronic granulomatous disease; cell mediated immune defect and HIV infection. Nine (60%) cases had good response to four anti-mycobacterial drug therapy and interferon gamma. Disseminated BCG disease is a rare but devastating complication of BCG vaccination that should be considered in the appropriate clinical setting. Severe immune-compromised infants are at greatest risk and they respond poorly to standard therapies.

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