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Background: The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) preparations are live-attenuated derivatives of Mycobacterium bovis. These products are used to vaccinate infants at birth, a practice that may result in a disseminated infection in those patients who have an unidentified immunodeficiency. Case presentation: Patients who were immunized at birth with BCG and who developed a disseminated infection are reported here to emphasize the importance of taking an extensive medical history before giving the BCG vaccine. Patient 1 has a sibling who had familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Patient 2 has a severe immunodeficiency with profound lymphopenia. Patient 3 has a sibling who had a disseminated BCG infection. Patient 4 has two siblings with an immunodeficiency disorder; one sibling passed away in infancy and one is receiving regular immunoglobulin infusions. Patient 5 has profound lymphopenia and his brother had cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonitis and passed away in infancy. Conclusions: These unfortunate events could have been avoided by compiling the relevant clinical and laboratory information. These cases also underscore the importance of a strict adherence to the BCG vaccine policies. Local and international registries that estimate the birth prevalence of primary immune deficiencies are needed prior to implementing universal BCG vaccination administration.
Al-Hammadi, S., Alsuwaidi, A. R., Alshamsi, E. T., Ghatasheh, G. A., & Souid, A. K. (2017). Disseminated Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) infections in infants with immunodeficiency. BMC Research Notes, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-017-2499-7