Recommendations for pediatric tuberculosis vaccination in Italy

Carlotta Montagnani, Susanna Esposito, Luisa Galli, Elena Chiappini, Nicola Principi, Maurizio de Martino, Samantha Bosis, Claudia Tagliabue, Laura Senatore, Beatrice Ascolese, Alberto Villani, Laura Lancella, Laura Cursi, Annalisa Grandin, Caterina Marabotto, Luisa Galli, Elena Chiappini, Daniele Ciofi, Filippo Festini, Martina AnziatiSabrina Becciani, Giulia Remaschi, Sara Sollai, Chiara Tersigni, Elisabetta Venturini, Alfredo Guarino, Andrea Lo Vecchio, Riccardo Scotto, Clara Gabiano, Silvia Garazzino, Daniele Le Serre, Irene Raffaldi, Filippo Bernardi, Elisa Bertazzoni, Francesco Blasi, Marialuisa Bocchino, Luca Assante, Elio Castagnola, Giuseppe Losurdo, Luigi Codecasa, Giuseppe Di Mauro, Marino Faccini, Gianluigi Marseglia, Amelia Mascolo, Amelia Di Comite, Mauro Stronati, Alberto Matteelli, Giovanni Battista Migliori, Lia D’Ambrosio, Rosella Centis, Angela Pasinato, Daniela Cirillo, Enrico Tortoli, Cristina Russo, Franco Scaglione, Elisabetta Scala, Paolo Tomà

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is still the only vaccine approved for the prevention of tuberculosis (TB), and is widely used in highly endemic countries, where all newborns receive a single intradermal dose immediately after birth; however, the recommendations concerning its use in Europe vary widely from country to country. This document describes the recommendations of a group of Italian scientific societies concerning its pediatric use in Italy, the persistence of the protection it provides, its safety, its interference with tuberculin skin test (TST) responses, and the children who should be vaccinated. The experts conclude that BCG vaccination provides a good level of protection against tuberculous meningitis and disseminated forms, and a fair level of protection against pulmonary disease; the protective effective lasts at least 10 years, and revaccination offers no advantages over a single administration. The vaccine is safe in immunocompetent subjects, and affects the response to a TST for at least 6 y On the basis of these observations, we recommend its use in Italy in all TST-negative immunocompetent newborns and breastfeeding infants aged <6 months, and all TST-negative children aged between 6 months and 5 y who come from highly epidemic areas, or whose parents come from highly endemic areas, or who have been in contact with a family member with active TB without contracting the disease themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-650
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 3 2016


  • BCG
  • children
  • prevention
  • tuberculosis
  • vaccination
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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