Tuberculosis Vaccine May Carry Dermatological Benefits for Newborns

HealthDay News — Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination within 7 days of birth may reduce the risk of allergic diseases, including atopic dermatitis, according to a study published online September 20 in Allergy.

Lisbeth Marianne Thøstesen, MD, PhD, from Kolding Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues randomized newborns within 7 days of birth to BCG or no BCG as part of the Danish Calmette Study (2012 to 2015). Over 13 months of follow-up, data were collected through telephone interviews and clinical examinations. 

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The researchers found that clinical atopic dermatitis was diagnosed in 466 of 2,052 children in the BCG group and 495 of 1,952 children in the control group (relative risk, 0.90; 95% confidence interval, 0.80 to 1.00). There was a significant difference in the effect of neonatal BCG vaccination between children with atopic predisposition (relative risk, 0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.74 to 0.95) and children without atopic predisposition (relative risk, 1.09; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.88 to 1.37) (test of no interaction, P=0.04).

“Among children with atopic predisposition, the number-needed-to-treat with BCG to prevent one case of atopic dermatitis was 21,” the authors write.

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