Comparative Tuberculosis (TB) Prevention Effectiveness in Children of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) Vaccines from Different Sources, Kazakhstan
Published Date:Mar 09 2012
Source:PLoS One. 2012; 7(3).
Except during a 1-year period when BCG vaccine was not routinely administered, annual coverage of infants with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in Kazakhstan since 2002 has exceeded 95%. BCG preparations from different sources (Japan, Serbia, and Russia) or none were used exclusively in comparable 7-month time-frames, September through March, in 4 successive years beginning in 2002. Our objective was to assess relative effectiveness of BCG immunization.
We compared outcomes of birth cohorts from the 4 time-frames retrospectively. Three cohorts received vaccine from one of three manufacturers exclusively, and one cohort was not vaccinated. Cohorts were followed for 3 years for notifications of clinical TB and of culture-confirmed TB, and for 21 months for TB meningitis notifications. Prevention effectiveness based on relative risk of TB incidence was calculated for each vaccinated cohort compared to the non-vaccinated cohort.
Potential limitations included considerations that 1) the methodology used was retrospective, 2) multiple risk factors could have varied between cohorts and affected prevention effectiveness measures, 3) most cases were clinically diagnosed, and TB culture-positive case numbers and TB meningitis case numbers were sparse, and 4) small variations in reported population TB burden could have affected relative risk of exposure for cohorts.
All three BCG vaccines evaluated were protective against TB, and prevention effectiveness varied by manufacturer. When setting national immunization policy, consideration should be given to prevention effectiveness of BCG preparations.
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