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August 18, 1951


JAMA. 1951;146(16):1515. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670160057018

BCG vaccination has been used for more than a quarter of a century. Its true role in the prevention of tuberculosis still remains a subject of controversy. A status report has been published in The Journal1 by the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry. Though it is impossible to conduct ideal experimental BCG studies in man, such studies can provide evidence approaching that sought in animal experimentation. Such evidence is reported by Dahlström and Difs,2 who investigated the incidence of various types of tuberculous disease among tuberculin-negative Swedish Army conscripts, whom they divided into two comparable groups, one of which was vaccinated with BCG. The results indicate that the incidence of not only primary tuberculosis but also exudative tuberculous pleurisy and early postprimary destructive pulmonary tuberculosis was significantly reduced in the vaccinated (36,235) compared with the nonvaccinated (25,239) soldiers. This is the first time it has been shown that