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Free Content Osteitis caused by Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination: an emergent problem in Chile?

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SETTING: Osteitis caused by bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCGOST) vaccination has not been described in Latin American countries.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence, clinical features and prognosis of patients with BCGOST in one of the most populated areas of Santiago, Chile.

DESIGN: A retrospective analysis of medical records kept over twenty years (1976–1995).

RESULTS: In ten children (four in the last five years), diagnostic criteria of BCGOST were fulfilled. Six were boys, the mean age was 11 months (range 6.5–21), symptoms were present with a mean of 31 days (range 15–60) before diagnosis and the sites of predilection of osteitis were the lower extremity (8/10 cases). Culture was positive in one case, and nine patients had typical histopathological lesions (two with acid-fast bacilli). All had normal chest X-ray. Mantoux testing was performed in four cases (mean 21.5 mm, range 16–28). None of the ten patients had a history of underlying immunodeficiency. In this area BCG coverage was 90.2 ± 9.7% of all newborn infants, and the annual risk of tuberculosis infection was 24.6/100000 population per year.

CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated an estimated incidence for BCGOST in this area of 3.2/100000 vaccinated newborns. Based on the epidemiological situation of tuberculosis in Chile (29.5/100000), universal BCG vaccination in newborns should be encouraged.
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Keywords: BCG vaccination; complication; osteitis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Exequiel González Cortés Children's Hospital, Pediatric Pulmonology Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

Publication date: 1997-10-01

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