Objective. To compare the risk of complications following Bacillus Calmette-Guérin(BCG) vaccination among children by maternal and infant HIV-1 infection status as part of an investigation of an outbreak of BCG complications.

Methods. A nonconcurrent cohort study of BCG complications among 125 infants born to HIV-1 seropositive and 166 infants born to HIV-1 seronegative mothers was conducted in Cité Soleil, Haiti. Infants were examined at regular intervals until 15 months of age, and complications from BCG were documented. An investigation of BCG vaccination practices was conducted.

Results. Mild or moderate complications occurred among 16 of 166 (9.6%) infants born to HIV-1 seronegative mothers compared with 4 of 13 HIV-1-infected infants (30.8%, P = .04) and 10 of 75 (13.3%, P = .39) uninfected infants born to HIV-1-infected mothers. No serious complications were noted. The outbreak of complications was associated with administration of 2.0 to 2.5 times the recommended dose of BCG vaccine.

Conclusions. This and five other cohort studies indicate that there may be a small increased risk of complications following BCG vaccination among HIV-1-infected children, but the reactions are usually mild and the risk does not outweigh the benefits of BCG vaccination in populations at high risk of tuberculosis during infancy and childhood.

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