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Free Content Bacille Calmette Guérin vaccination in pre-term infants

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SUMMARY: Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of bacillus Calmette Guérin (BCG) vaccine in pre-term infants.

Design: BCG vaccine was given to three groups of neonates: 1) 36 pre-terms born at different gestational ages (GA) vaccinated at birth, 2) 16 pre-terms vaccinated at 40 weeks post conceptional age, and 3) 20 full-terms vaccinated at birth. All of the infants were tested by purified protein derivative (PPD) 2-4 months post vaccination.

Results: The mean sizes of BCG scarring and PPD tuberculin induration were largest in full-term and smallest in pre-term infants vaccinated at birth. The pre-term infants of lower GA (27–33 weeks) had non-significantly smaller BCG scar and PPD induration than the pre-terms of higher GA (34–36 weeks). The results of logistic regression analyses revealed that female infants were more likely to have a BCG scar, and both birth weight and female sex were significantly associated with a reactive PPD induration.

Conclusion: This study indicates that male pre-term infants of lower GA (<33 weeks) are less likely to develop BCG scar and a reactive PPD tuberculin test after BCG vaccination. These findings do not support routine BCG vaccination at birth of pre-term neonates of GA <33 weeks. Studies including larger groups of infants are needed to confirm these findings.
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Keywords: BCG vaccine; PPD tuberculin test; pre-term

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neonatal Medicine and Surgery, Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2: Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UAE University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Publication date: 1998-08-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

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