By: Barclay, Laurie
The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine may help protect adults against tuberculosis (TB) decades after vaccination, according to a study published in the journal Thorax. The BCG vaccine is already used against TB meningitis and disseminated TB in children. A new study sought to determine whether the effects of BCG vaccination against TB infection persisted into adulthood. Investigators looked at the prevalence of latent TB infection (LTBI) among men in Taiwan. The overall prevalence of LTBI was 25 percent among the 2,385 participants. In all age groups, the number of BCG scars was inversely correlated with a QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-tube result of 0.35 IU/mL or more, the definition used for LTBI. This indicates a protective effect in adults, even decades after vaccination.