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Acute Lower Respiratory Infection among Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG)-Vaccinated Children
Authors: Hollm-Delgado MG, Stuart EA, Black RE.
Source: Pediatrics, 133(1):e73-81. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2218. Epub 2013 Dec 30.
Topic(s): Child health
Immunization
Country: More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: DEC 2013
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To determine whether Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination is linked to the risk of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) among children <5 years of age. METHODS: Data from Macro International Demographic and Health Surveys and United Nations Children's Fund Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys were used to identify a primary cohort of 58,021 children in 19 countries (2005-2010) and a secondary cohort of 93,301 children in 18 countries (2000-2007). Information was collected by trained interviewers during home visits using standardized questionnaires, review of vaccination health cards, and measurement of health indicators. RESULTS: BCG vaccination was associated with a 17% to 37% risk reduction for suspected ALRI in both cohorts. The only vaccine or vitamin supplement to modify the effect of BCG was diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP; P < .001). The order in which the vaccines were first received was central to this phenomena (BCG before DTP, adjusted/propensity score-weighted relative risk [apRR]: 0.79, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.70-0.89; BCG with DTP, apRR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.71-0.94; and BCG after DTP, apRR: 1.00, 95% CI: 0.87-1.13) but not number of DTP doses received. Other modifiers included vaccine strain used in immunization programs, chlorinating drinking water, using wood-burning fuel cook stoves, and owning livestock. CONCLUSIONS: Children vaccinated with BCG had a significantly lower risk of suspected ALRI. Clarification is needed as to whether this is due to reductions in the underlying risk of tuberculosis or ALRI per se. KEYWORDS: Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, childhood immunization, developing countries, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine, respiratory tract infection