Healthcare-Associated Mycobacterium bovis -Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) Infection in Cancer Patients Without Prior BCG Instillation

Yolanda Meije, Joaquín Martínez-Montauti, Joan A. Caylà, Jose Loureiro, Lucía Ortega, Mercedes Clemente, Xavier Sanz, Montserrat Ricart, María J. Santomà, Pere Coll, Montserrat Sierra, Marta Calsina, Montserrat Vaqué, Isabel Ruiz-Camps, Cristina López-Sánchez, Mar Montes, Ana Ayestarán, Jordi Carratalà, Àngels Orcau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis, is widely used as adjunctive therapy for superficial bladder cancer. Intravesical administration of BCG has been associated with systemic infection. Disseminated infection due to M. bovis is otherwise uncommon. Methods After identification of 3 patients with healthcare-associated BCG infection who had never received intravesical BCG administration, an epidemiologic study was performed. All patients with healthcare-associated BCG infection in the Barcelona tuberculosis (TB) program were reviewed from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2015, searching for infections caused by M. bovis-BCG. Patients with healthcare-associated BCG infection who had not received intravesical BCG instillation were selected and the source of infection was investigated. Results Nine oncology patients with infection caused by M. bovis-BCG were studied. All had permanent central venous catheters. Catheter maintenance was performed at 4 different outpatient clinics in the same room in which other patients underwent BCG instillations for bladder cancer without required biological precautions. All patients developed pulmonary TB, either alone or with extrapulmonary disease. Catheter-related infection was considered the mechanism of acquisition based on the epidemiologic association and positive catheter cultures for BCG in patients in whom mycobacterial cultures were performed. Conclusions Physicians should be alerted to the possibility of TB due to nosocomially acquired, catheter-related infections with M. bovis-BCG in patients with indwelling catheters. This problem may be more common than expected in centers providing BCG therapy for bladder cancer without adequate precautions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1136-1143
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Mycobacterium bovis -BCG
  • catheter-related infection
  • healthcare infection
  • nosocomial infection
  • outbreak

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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