Herzmann, Christian and Sotgiu, Giovanni and Schaberg, Tom and Ernst, Martin and Stenger, Steffen and Lange, Christoph (2015) Childhood BCG vaccination does not influence control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis growth by human bronchoalveolar lavage cells. Tuberculosis, Vol. 95 (3), p. 321-327. ISSN 1472-9792. eISSN 1873-281X. Article.
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Background: Childhood vaccination with Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) reduces the risk of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the risk of severe forms of tuberculosis in children. The protection of adults from pulmonary tuberculosis is doubtful. This study evaluated the effect of the vaccination on the growth of M. tuberculosis human bronchoalveolar mononuclear cells (BALMC).
Methods: Healthy, adult healthcare workers who were regularly exposed to M. tuberculosis, household tuberculosis contacts, and cured tuberculosis patients were recruited in a multicentre study conducted in Germany. BALMC were co-cultured with different strains of M. tuberculosis in growth inhibition assays (MGIAs).
Results: MGIAs on BALMC were conducted in 90 contact persons (known vaccination status, n = 75) and 62 former tuberculosis patients (known status, n = 22). Growth rates for M. tuberculosis H37Rv in BALMC were independent of the vaccination status, both in healthy contacts and in cured tuberculosis patients. This finding was validated in growth inhibition assays using two different Haarlem M. tuberculosis outbreak strains. Subgroup analyses based on the Interferon-gamma release assay status found no impact of the vaccination on mycobacterial growth.
Conclusions: This study suggests that M. bovis BCG vaccination does not alter the anti-mycobacterial capacity of BALMC as assessed in ex-vivo growth inhibition assays.
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