Skip to main content
BCG vaccination is associated with decreased severity of tuberculosis in Pakistan
International Journal of Mycobacteriology
  • Zahra Hasan, Aga Khan University
  • Muhammad Irfan, Aga Khan University
  • Javaid A. Khan, Aga Khan University
  • Shehryar Khaliqdina Jahangir, Dow University of Health Sciences Medical School
  • Muhammad Haris, Dow University of Health Sciences Medical School
  • Mussarat Ashraf, Aga Khan University
  • Naseem Salahuddin, Indus Hospital
  • Bushra Jamil, Aga Khan University
  • Nisar A. Rao, Dow University of Health Sciences Medical School
Publication Date
Document Type
Vaccination with Bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG) is given at birth to protect against tuberculosis (TB) in Pakistan. The country ranks 6th amongst high-burden countries worldwide and has an incidence of 231/100,000 pyopulation. This was a cross-sectional multi-center hospital-based study. TB patients (n = 218) with pulmonary (PTB, n = 120) or extrapulmonary (ETB, 98) were recruited, and the presence of a BCG vaccination scar was documented. Cases were further classified into minimal, moderate and advanced PTB or less severe (L-ETB) or severe disseminated (D-ETB) disease. The association of age, gender and severity of TB infections with BCG vaccination of the individual TB cases was investigated. No difference was found of the BCG vaccination status of PTB and ETB cases, or in relation to age or gender. Patients under 29 years of age comprised the largest group. There were more females with ETB than PTB. The largest group within ETB comprised those with tuberculous lymphadenitis (LNTB, 39%). A significantly greater number of LNTB cases had received BCG vaccinations than had those with pleural (unilateral) TB (p = 0.004), and tuberculous meningitis (p = 0.027) groups. Also, there were more immunized patients with pulmonary as compared with pleural disease (p = 0.001). LNTB represents localized granulomatous disease and the observation of higher vaccination rates in this group suggests that BCG has protected against more severe forms of TB in this high-burden region.
Citation Information
Zahra Hasan, Muhammad Irfan, Javaid A. Khan, Shehryar Khaliqdina Jahangir, et al.. "BCG vaccination is associated with decreased severity of tuberculosis in Pakistan" International Journal of Mycobacteriology Vol. 1 Iss. 4 (2012) p. 201 - 206
Available at: