Thorax 68:288-289 doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2012-201971
  • PostScript
  • Research letter

BCG protects against tuberculosis irrespective of HIV status: a matched case-control study in Mwanza, Tanzania

  1. Henrik Friis1
  1. 1Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark
  2. 2Muhimbili Research Centre, National Institute for Medical Research, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  3. 3Mwanza Research Centre, National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza, Tanzania
  4. 4Clinical Research Centre, University of Copenhagen, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
  5. 5Section for Microbiology and Immunology, University of Bergen and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Gade Institute, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
  6. 6Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark
  7. 7Department of Infectious Diseases, Odense University Hospital, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel Faurholt-Jepsen, Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 30, Frederiksberg C 1958, Denmark; dfa{at}
  • Received 28 March 2012
  • Revised 18 June 2012
  • Accepted 3 August 2012
  • Published Online First 24 August 2012


While BCG vaccine protects against severe tuberculosis (TB) in children, its effect against adult TB is questionable. Furthermore, it is not known if HIV co-infection modifies the effect of BCG. Among 352 pairs of Tanzanian TB cases and matched controls, the BCG scar was associated with a reduced risk of TB (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.7, p=0.005), irrespective of HIV status (interaction, p=0.623). BCG vaccination considerably reduced the risk of TB, both among individuals with and without HIV infection.

Relevant Article