Indexed on: 23 Feb '19Published on: 23 Feb '19Published in: Emerging infectious diseases
Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is used as a vaccine to protect against disseminated tuberculosis (TB) and as a treatment for bladder cancer. We describe characteristics of US TB patients reported to the National Tuberculosis Surveillance System (NTSS) whose disease was attributed to BCG. We identified 118 BCG cases and 91,065 TB cases reported to NTSS during 2004-2015. Most patients with BCG were US-born (86%), older (median age 75 years), and non-Hispanic white (81%). Only 17% of BCG cases had pulmonary involvement, in contrast with 84% of TB cases. Epidemiologic features of BCG cases differed from TB cases. Clinicians can use clinical history to discern probable BCG cases from TB cases, enabling optimal clinical management. Public health agencies can use this information to quickly identify probable BCG cases to avoid inappropriately reporting BCG cases to NTSS or expending resources on unnecessary public health interventions.