Disseminated Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) infections in infants with immunodeficiency

Suleiman Al-Hammadi, Ahmed R. Alsuwaidi, Eman T. Alshamsi, Ghassan A. Ghatasheh, Abdul Kader Souid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) preparations are live-attenuated derivatives of Mycobacterium bovis. These products are used to vaccinate infants at birth, a practice that may result in a disseminated infection in those patients who have an unidentified immunodeficiency. Case presentation: Patients who were immunized at birth with BCG and who developed a disseminated infection are reported here to emphasize the importance of taking an extensive medical history before giving the BCG vaccine. Patient 1 has a sibling who had familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Patient 2 has a severe immunodeficiency with profound lymphopenia. Patient 3 has a sibling who had a disseminated BCG infection. Patient 4 has two siblings with an immunodeficiency disorder; one sibling passed away in infancy and one is receiving regular immunoglobulin infusions. Patient 5 has profound lymphopenia and his brother had cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonitis and passed away in infancy. Conclusions: These unfortunate events could have been avoided by compiling the relevant clinical and laboratory information. These cases also underscore the importance of a strict adherence to the BCG vaccine policies. Local and international registries that estimate the birth prevalence of primary immune deficiencies are needed prior to implementing universal BCG vaccination administration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number177
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 5 2017


  • BCG
  • Danish-SSI 1331 strain
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Mycobacterium bovis
  • Newborns
  • Tuberculosis
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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