Effect of Bacille Calmette-Guérin Vaccination on C-Peptide Secretion in Children Newly Diagnosed With IDDM

  1. Robert Couch, MD
  1. Departments of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  2. Pediatrics, University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. J.F. Elliott, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 621 Heritage Medical Research Center, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2S2, Canada. E-mail: john.elliott{at}ualberta.ca


OBJECTIVE To determine whether administration of bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination to newly diagnosed IDDM patients can help preserve C-peptide secretion over the subsequent 18 months.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Twenty-six IDDM patients, all of whom had been diagnosed within the previous year, had basal C-peptide levels >0.06 nmol/1, and had negative reactions to Mantoux's test, were randomized pairwise as they presented and were given either 0.1 ml (100 μg) BCG vaccine or 0.1 ml saline intradermally. Both the patients and the investigators were blinded to the treatment. Fasting and glucagon-induced C-peptide levels and HbA1c were measured in all patients at enrollment and at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months after vaccination, and insulin dose was recorded at each visit.

RESULTS At enrollment, there was no significant difference in age, duration of diabetes, insulin dose, HbA1c, or fasting C-peptide levels between the BCG-vaccinated and control groups. The mean basal and stimulated C-peptide levels in the BCG-treated group did not differ significantly from those in the control group at any time during the 18 months of followup, and there was no difference in insulin dose or HbA1c at any time between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS BCG vaccination in children who have been recently diagnosed with IDDM does not affect the progressive decline in C-peptide levels or alter the clinical course of the disease.

  • Received December 4, 1997.
  • Revision received June 8, 1998.
  • Accepted June 8, 1998.
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