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Korean J Lab Med. 2011 Jul;31(3):197-200. doi: 10.3343/kjlm.2011.31.3.197. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

Mycobacterial infection after intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guërin treatment for bladder cancer: a case report.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine & Genetics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Bacillus Calmette-Guërin (BCG) has been traditionally used as a vaccine against tuberculosis. Further, intravesical administration of BCG has been shown to be effective in treating bladder cancer. Although BCG contains a live attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis, complications such as M. bovis BCG infection caused by BCG administration are extremely rare. Here, we report a case of BCG infection occurring after intravesical BCG therapy. A 67-yr-old man presented with azotemia and weight loss. He had been diagnosed with bladder cancer 4 yr back, and had undergone transurethral resection of the bladder tumor and intravesical BCG (Tice strain) therapy at that time. An acid-fast bacterial strain was isolated from his urine sample. We did not detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis protein 64 (MPT-64) antigen in the isolates obtained from his sample, and multiplex PCR and PCR-reverse blot hybridization assay indicated that the isolate was a member of the M. tuberculosis complex, but was not M. tuberculosis. Finally, sequence analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA and DNA gyrase, subunit B (gyrB) suggested that the organism was M. bovis or M. bovis BCG. Although we could not confirm that M. bovis BCG was the causative agent, the results of the 3 molecular methods and the MPT-64 antigen assay suggest this finding. This is an important finding, especially because M. bovis BCG cannot be identified using common commercial molecular genetics tools.


BCG; Bladder cancer; Multiplex-PCR; Mycobacterium bovis; Sequence analysis

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