Induced Immunity

Immunity Induced by BCG Vaccination of HIV-infected Infants


Type of Study

Prospective observational study


Case control study

Project Site

Worcester region of the Western Cape, South Africa

Sample Size

total of 81 subjects
Infants were assigned to 1 of 3 groups:

  • 31 HIV-infected infants cases
  • 25 non-HIV-exposed, non-infected infants controls
  • 25 HIV-exposed, non-infected infants controls


Infants born to HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women were recruited at clinics or maternity wards

Study Period


Goal of Study:

To guide a more comprehensive assessment of the risks and benefits associated with BCG vaccination in HIV-infected infants, we assessed whether BCG induces the immune response thought to be required to protect infants against TB. The immune determinants of vaccination-induced protection against TB are not fully understood. However, the T helper type 1 (Th1) cytokine response, characterized by interferon (IFN)\x96γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)\x96α, and interleukin (IL)\x962 production, is widely thought to be essential. Recently, we have shown that, in HIV-uninfected infants, BCG induces CD4 and CD8 T cell populations that express combinations of IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2.

Objectives of Study:

  1. To determine whether BCG vaccination is immunogenic in HIV-infected infants (immune response in HIV-infected infants are compared with those in infants not exposed or infected with HIV)
  2. To determine the effect of antiretroviral therapy on the BCG-induced immune response
  3. To compare BCG induced immunity between HIV-exposed, non-infected and non-HIV exposed infants