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Detection of bloodstream pathogens in a bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-vaccinated pediatric population in Malawi: a pilot study


Children in Malawi receive bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination within the first 3 days of life. Thus, we hypothesized that Malawian children infected with the human immunodeficiency type 1 virus (HIV-1) might be particularly vulnerable to dissemination of the BCG Mycobacterium bovis strain with which they were vaccinated. Following informed consent by parents, we studied children admitted to a Malawi general hospital during the 1998 wet and dry seasons. Blood from cohorts of acutely ill children was cultured for bacteria, including mycobacteria, and fungi, and tested for anti-HIV-1 antibodies. It was shown that non-typhi Salmonella and Escherichia coli were the predominant bloodstream pathogens during the wet and dry seasons, and that bloodstream dissemination of the BCG M. bovis strain is uncommon in HIV-1-infected children who receive the BCG vaccine.

Archibald LK, Nwanyanwu O, Kazembe PN, Mwansambo C, Bell M, Dobbie H, Reller LB, Jarvis WR

Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 2003 Mar;9(3):234-8

PMID: 12667257