Navigation path


Tuberculosis (INCO)

BCG Vaccination and Childhood Morbidity and Mortality: Interventions with Possible Implications for Immunisation Policy in Developing Countries
Framework programme:
Project number:
EC contribution:
€ 1 092 917
48 months
Starting date:
1 October 2001


It is proposed to examine the non-specific effects of BCG vaccination through three randomised trials with possible implications for immunisation policies in developing countries. It will be examined whether revaccination with BCG reduces mortality, whether BCG vaccination at the birth of low birthweight children is associated with better BCG coverage and lower mortality, and whether vitamin A supplementation simultaneously with BCG vaccination is associated with a reduction in infant mortality. None of these measures are standard in the current immunisation programmes in developing countries; however, observational studies suggest that BCG vaccination may have non-specific beneficial effects. The impact on severe morbidity and hospitalisations, in particular from malaria, will also be examined through surveillance at the paediatric department. The possible immunological basis for non-specific effects will be examined. If these studies are successful, they may have direct implications for current immunisation policies in developing countries.


The major goal of this proposal is to examine the non-specific effects of BCG vaccination on childhood morbidity and mortality through intervention trials. Novel approaches will be used to examine the immunological basis for non-specific effects. The specific objectives are to examine in randomised intervention trials as to whether revaccination with BCG reduces childhood mortality after 19 months of age by 30%, BCG vaccination of low birthweight children reduces infant mortality by 25%, and simultaneous administration of BCG vaccination and vitamin A reduces infant mortality by 30%.

[+] Read More