Intranasal bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine dosage needs balancing between protection and lung pathology

J. A. Tree, Ann Williams, Simon Clark, Graham Hall, P. D. Marsh, Juraj Ivanyi*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Intranasal vaccination may offer practical benefits and better protection against respiratory infections, including tuberculosis. In this paper, we investigated the persistence of the Mycobacterium bovis-strain bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) Pasteur, lung granuloma formation and protection against pathogenic tuberculous challenge in mice. A pronounced BCG dose-dependent granulomatous infiltration of the lungs was observed following intranasal, but not after subcutaneous, vaccination. Corresponding doses of BCG, over a 100-fold range, imparted similar protection against H37Rv challenge when comparing the intranasal and subcutaneous vaccination routes. Interestingly, a BCG dose-dependent reduction of the H37Rv challenge infection was observed in the lungs, but not in the spleens, following both intranasal and subcutaneous vaccination. In the light of the observed concurrence between the extent of granuloma formation and the level of protection of the lungs, we conclude that intranasal vaccination leading to best protective efficacy needs to be balanced with an acceptable safety margin avoiding undue pathology in the lungs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)405-409
    Number of pages5
    JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


    • BCG
    • Intranasal vaccination
    • Lung granuloma
    • Tuberculosis
    • Vaccine dosage


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